DSW (NYSE:DSW) has announced a partnership with 3-D printed shoe company Feetz to create custom-fit footwear. Together the two companies will offer consumers affordable, customized, sustainably made shoes.
As part of the partnership, DSW led Feetz's Series A funding, which included participation from investors Khosla Ventures and The Jump Fund. Erin Kelly, senior director of innovation at DSW, will join Uli Becker, previous CEO of Reebok, and Vijit Sabnis of Khosla Ventures, on the board at Feetz.
"DSW is excited at the possibility of bringing Feetz's innovative technology to our customers. The Feetz model will allow our customers to purchase true custom fit shoes at a fraction of what traditional bespoke shoes cost. We believe that giving customers the ability to purchase on-demand, affordable, custom fit shoes has the potential to disrupt the footwear market as we know it today," said Simon Nankervis, chief commercial officer, DSW.
Feedback early on has been positive, according to Feetz founder and CEO Lucy Beard. The company has spent 18 months perfecting the technology at its new 3-D printing manufacturing facility in San Diego, which will fulfill thousands of orders per month.
"DSW's impressive reach and customer centricity makes them the perfect partner for Feetz," Beard said.
Several other big-name brands are exploring the revenue possibilities of 3-D printing. During the holiday season of 2014, Target (NYSE:TGT) introduced a line of charms, rings and ornaments that customers could customize online to be produced through 3-D printing.
The demand for 3-D printers is rising as consumers eagerly await their opportunity to customize products for less money. According to a study from ReportBuyer, the global demand for 3-D printing could rise more than 20 percent each year to reach $5 billion by 2017.
- see this DSW press release
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