By Alexis Mortenson | firstname.lastname@example.org
While walking through the St. Augustine Premium Outlets, it is common to see signs in store windows that lure customers in and persuade them to shop. But, what one might find uncommon is a sign placed in the Skechers window advertising BOBS, a shoe line that gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need after every purchase.
Although BOBS has a generous mission, the launch of this shoe line has come under great scrutiny by avid TOMS buyers throughout the past two years.
TOMS Shoes began in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, an American traveler who had a goal to help children in need. After traveling to Argentina and seeing thousands of children barefoot, he started TOMS Shoes, a company that after every purchase would give a pair of shoes to a child in need. This movement is called the One for One, and has been successful in giving millions of shoes to children in need in over 40 countries worldwide.
On the other hand, BOBS was launched in 2010 by Skechers. BOBS, just like TOMS, gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need after every purchase through their own program “Soles 4 Souls”. BOBS was not advertised as much in 2010, but now one can see BOBS advertisements on television regularly.
Lea Blackburn, the owner of a shoe store “Tootsies” in Ponte Vedra said, “BOBS does not seem to be as popular as TOMS by any stretch of the imagination, but there are people that have heard of it.”
In addition to having a similar business model, many TOMS buyers are also upset that BOBS shoes and logos look almost identical to TOMS. With the four letter names, and similar type style, many TOMS buyers feel that BOBS have completely copied TOMS logo.
Chandler Carrocio, a Flagler student said, “Coming from a person who owns TOMS ,I think that Sketchers coming out with BOBS is very odd. They are so similar and I just don’t understand why they would come out with the same shoe and concept.”
When asked about customer’s feedback regarding the launch of BOBS, Skechers sales associate, Angela Morris declined to comment.