Case study: Church’s English Shoes

Church's English Shoes


Church’s English Shoes


Church and company opened a small factory in Northampton in 1873 and, in the space of a few years was transformed from a craft workshop into a benchmark firm for high quality footwear. The Church brand was increasingly perceived as the hallmark of English design and craftsmanship, leading to increasing recognition and popularity, particularly in Italy and Japan.

Our brief

Our brief was to evaluate the opportunity to extend the reach of the brand into relevant and believable new product categories.

The process

We researched the United Kingdom, Italian and Japanese markets and identified product categories that could potentially be marketed under the Church brand. Whilst some of the target products related to footwear in terms of leather or associated products, it was recognized that the distribution of such products could not be successfully managed ‘in house’.

The logical solution was product licensing, where the distributive expertise of the specialist manufacturer could be harnessed. We identified the target product areas in each country, drafted a Licensing Policy, Brand Manual and Standard Licensing Agreement and agreed to act as Interim Director of the Church & CO Licensing division. A post we held for two years until it could be delegated to a director of the parent company.

The result

The Church Group licensing division grew rapidly and successful licenses were introduced in Europe and Japan.