The federal government set aside 11 holidays each year to commemorate certain events or things of cultural or religious importance. People are allowed to celebrate on those days. However, businesses are not allowed to operate on those days due to tradition.
Every federal holiday and many others besides are celebrated with a sale, like on Valentine’s, Mother’s and Father’s Days and Halloween. Holiday sales are so successful that retailers have even invented retail holidays of their own, like Amazon’s mid-July Prime Day Event and rumor has it, there is another Amazon sales holiday planned for October.
Labor Day, which is the first Monday of September, is one among the official eleven. However, its true meaning has been lost since 1894, when President Grover Cleveland created the day to acknowledge the contributions of American workers to the building of the country.
Today, Labor Day is primarily known as the non-official end of summer and the beginning of retailers’ race to the year-end finish line. It also climaxes retailers’ back-to-school sales season and when retailers roll out their fall and winter merchandise.
So when a retailer goes off the holiday sales script, it’s worth taking notice. Red Wing Shoe Company is doing the exact same thing this Labor Day, September 5.
As a brand that has outfitted American workers since 1905, Red Wing is holding a non-sales event that day to honor American laborers by donating all the day’s profits to organizations training up the next generation of skilled workers.
“There are macro-level trends that Red Wing feels an obligation to address because the skilled trades are facing a growing labor shortage. Today five people are leaving the skilled trades for every one that is entering,” explained Dave Schneider, Red Wing’s chief marketing officer.
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“There is a role for brands like ours to play in this crisis by helping people consider the skilled trades. College and white collar jobs aren’t for everyone,”He continued.
Red Wing will donate the proceeds to a number organizations that train workers for careers as construction workers, including Helmets to Hardhats to transitioning military service personnel, Build Strong, WINTER (Women In Non-Traditional Employment Roles), Construction Career Pathways or TradesFutures.
“As a company, we make our money, so to speak, off the backs of those workers who help America move forward. This is our way to give back and help prepare the next generation,”He continued.
Shoes that are purposefully designed for work
With workwear increasingly becoming a fashion trend, Red Wing likes to say it’s been “out of fashion since 1905.”
“Our product is another tool in the workers’ tool belt,”Schneider said. “Footwear is absolutely critical to those on the job site, to keep them from getting electrocuted if they step on a live wire or slipping and falling on the job. Our products are purpose-built for the functional purpose that they serve.”
In addition, the company offers a Heritage product line that is more fashion-oriented, drawn from the company’s historic archives. “They are more reflective of our past and are popular with celebrities and the fashionista crowd,”He said. The Heritage collection is available online through Red Wing because of its fashion focus.
However, for its selection of cutting-edge premium workwear, online visitors are directed to one of Red Wing’s North American retail network of 550 retail stores and selected authorized dealers. The company also operates 170+ mobile stores ready to go to specific businesses’ work sites.
“If you purchase Red Wing for fashion and style, it’s one thing, but if you are purchasing for the job, it’s another thing entirely,”He explained. “We don’t want someone to come to the website, punch in some data and walk away with the wrong boots just because they look good. We are just as purposeful about how we sell as how we design our products.”
Red Wing retail sales associates are highly skilled in understanding the needs of workers in various jobs and fitting them with the right boots to suit their needs.
“People can look at all the styles we offer on the website, but when it comes to making the purchase, we need to make sure that each individual’s core safety needs are accounted for so that they get just the right ‘fit’ for their work environment,”He shared.
Follow workers around the globe
Red Wing is a brand that specializes in footwear and boots. Red Wing, the company is much more dispersed. It also has Vasque and Irish Setter brands for outdoor sports enthusiasts, S.B. Foot Tanning Co. offers WORX safety programs for businesses and the St. James Hotel, Red Wing, MN.
The company employs 2,100 people worldwide in two leather tanneries, two shoe factories, eight warehouses, and distributes to more than 110 countries.
“We go where the workers are and people are building all over the world,”Schneider noted that the company has significant operations both in Dubai and in Western Europe, including major hubs like Amsterdam and Scotland. Red Wing Heritage boots are a well-known lifestyle brand in Japan.
The company is well-known for its work boots, with nearly 1,000 styles available. However, the company also sells nearly 600 styles of workwear and 400 accessories.
“As a company, we are firmly committed to the skilled trades. We want to ensure this country continues to move forward by providing premium quality footwear and creating more opportunities for those in the skilled trades. That’s what our Labor Day “Not on Sale”Program is everything.
“The skilled trade industry has an important story to tell and needs to tell it loudly. We want to be a conduit and provide avenues for people to find skilled trade jobs across America. People need to understand the great options they have in the skilled trades and Red Wing is there to help,” Schneider concluded.