When the guys in research and development as Kent what his price target was, he pushed back like a CEO in a private family business not worried about the outside pressures of answering to shareholders. Make the most unbelievable sock, then figure out what to charge to give us the right margin.
Consumers aren't used to paying big bucks for socks. They're usually grouped in packages and branding doesn't usually play a part.
"In order to make this thing anything close to commercial viable, it's going to have to go around $25 a pair," Kent recalled. "And our next closest competitor was selling their sock for $9.95. I said, "If we can get this on someone's foot, these things are going to sell and they're going to sell like hotcakes."
Kent appears to have been right. While the company won't give out specific sales numbers, he says sales are up 586 percent versus the first five months of last year. And more shops are willing to carry the socks. At the end of last year, 39 stores carried them. That has already tripled. At $25, Kent knows he needs to make both retailers and consumers feel comfortable with the spend.
"We're so confident that if (retailers) take our product and you don't sell it in the first year, we'll take it all back and refund your money," Kent said. "So far, we have yet to have anybody take us up on that."
The guarantee also applies to the customer, though again, Kent doesn't have any need to set up a return department.
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