Own Vs. Rent

One of the most common questions we get from formalwear shop owners is whether they should buy their shoes or rent them from a distributor.  While every situation is unique, our experience is that most shop owners can benefit greatly from owning their shoes.

Provide Better Service

Aside from the fact that shoes tend to be the most profitable part of the tuxedo rental business, owning one's own shoes eliminates a lot of problems.  Unlike tuxedos that can be quickly altered if there is a fit issue, there is not much (if anything) one can do to make a pair of shoes fit.  The only solution is to have the right sized shoe on hand.  So, stocking a nice inventory of shoes eliminates problems and improves one's customer service.

Make More Money

To determine whether one can make more money owning the shoes versus renting them, he/she needs to calculate his/her TCO (total cost of ownership).  While there is an upfront investment required to build an inventory of shoes, if handled correctly, they should be the most profitable part of one's formalwear rental business.  In fact, our customers tell us they typically get 15 to  35 rentals from our shoes.  We even have a few customers who treat their shoes with the utmost of respect that boast getting over 50 turns with the shoes still looking very good.

So, the key to maximizing profits stems from the backroom handling of your shoes.  In short, if you only get a handful of turns before the shoes are "unrentable" to your customer, you are giving up profits for the sake of price. If you take care of the shoes, the profit can be extraordinary.

Questions to ask when figuring TCO are:

  1. How many times did you rent the shoe? Approximations are fine.
  2. How much did you make on shoes? If you bundle, estimate the "value" of the shoe per package for your computation.
  3. How many shoes do you have to throw out each week/season/year?
  4. How much does it cost to clean/handle your shoes for a standard order?
  5. How many orders do you have to do last minute replacements/repairs? What is that cost?
  6. How much does your shoe cost?

We have detailed knowledge of size scales, trends, demographic considerations, and style that can be used to help make your shoe ownership the most profitable.

If you need help answering questions or would like assistance on determining the best styles and sizes for your particular area, please contact us or fill out our Wholesale Inquiry Form.


AccessoriesFrom shoe laces to storage solutions Gateway Shoes offers a number of items to help our customers keep their inventory of tuxedo shoes in top shape.


Cleaning & Care

Cleaning & CareKeep your rental shoes looking new with our exclusive Liquid Glass Shoe Protector, innovative Scuff & Mark Remover and more.

Cleaning & Care