Aero pricing strategy?

Hi!
I'm curious.

Back in 2008 I bought an Aero A-2 "Real Deal" from Aero Leather Clothing in Scotland.
If I remember correctly I paid £300 + shipping.

The jacket is excellent and I've really enjoyed wearing it all these years. The horsehide has also developed a great patina, so the jacket looks just like an original from the 40s. If I'd rate my satisfaction with the purchase, I'd give it 5/5.

Anyway, now the same model costs £660 and it's only available up to size 48. In 2008 I ordered a size 50 (which at that time was available as a standard size), so if I'd order again it has to be as a special order (guess it will cost extra then?).

I understand that inflation will affect the price in 12 years, likely have material and labour costs increased too, but how can they motivate such a drastic price increase? As a customer, what extra value does this price increase bring to me? Is the jacket even more qualitative? Better materials? Better manufactured?
For me it seems like an odd business strategy. While other companies refine their production methods and principles to cut costs, for example by applying LEAN-thinking, Aero obviously let the customers pay for the changes. No wonder that competitors with much more favorable prices such as Fivestar leather, position themselves in the market...

Ok, but then some will say that Aero repros are much more authentic, better made etc. Well, a similar Fivestar leather jacket today (a Bronco or a Doniger horsehide jacket in size 2XL/50) costs $270 according to Fivestars website. That's about £208 according to www.xe.com.
If an Aero still would cost £300, without seeing Fivestar's HH Bronco or Doniger, I'd say that £300 would be a good price for an Aero based on their long-standing reputation and claimed authenticity, but £660? How can you motivate a price difference of £452 compared to a Fivestar HH (and probably an even bigger difference if making a special order)?

Just some thoughts.

/Swedish_Pilot
 

Enigma1938

Active Member
Hi!
I'm curious.

Back in 2008 I bought an Aero A-2 "Real Deal" from Aero Leather Clothing in Scotland.
If I remember correctly I paid £300 + shipping.

The jacket is excellent and I've really enjoyed wearing it all these years. The horsehide has also developed a great patina, so the jacket looks just like an original from the 40s. If I'd rate my satisfaction with the purchase, I'd give it 5/5.

Anyway, now the same model costs £660 and it's only available up to size 48. In 2008 I ordered a size 50 (which at that time was available as a standard size), so if I'd order again it has to be as a special order (guess it will cost extra then?).

I understand that inflation will affect the price in 12 years, likely have material and labour costs increased too, but how can they motivate such a drastic price increase? As a customer, what extra value does this price increase bring to me? Is the jacket even more qualitative? Better materials? Better manufactured?
For me it seems like an odd business strategy. While other companies refine their production methods and principles to cut costs, for example by applying LEAN-thinking, Aero obviously let the customers pay for the changes. No wonder that competitors with much more favorable prices such as Fivestar leather, position themselves in the market...

Ok, but then some will say that Aero repros are much more authentic, better made etc. Well, a similar Fivestar leather jacket today (a Bronco or a Doniger horsehide jacket in size 2XL/50) costs $270 according to Fivestars website. That's about £208 according to www.xe.com.
If an Aero still would cost £300, without seeing Fivestar's HH Bronco or Doniger, I'd say that £300 would be a good price for an Aero based on their long-standing reputation and claimed authenticity, but £660? How can you motivate a price difference of £452 compared to a Fivestar HH (and probably an even bigger difference if making a special order)?

Just some thoughts.

/Swedish_Pilot
You can't compare Aero with 5*. It's a matter of quality in every way. Well the price increase that you mentioned is something that happens all over the world, when you think that Aero exaggerating this you should take a look at Eastmans price politics the last 10 years.
 
Hi!
Interesting discussion.

You can't compare Aero with 5*. It's a matter of quality in every way.
Well actually I can compare an Aero with a Fivestar. As I wrote previously, I've owned an Aero since 2008 and I've owned a few Fivestar jackets since 2018 and 2019 which I've bought from @Shawn Ali . I really love the Aero's appearance, but if it's more qualitative than my Fivestar A-2 I really can't say. The Fivestar's leather is thick and very nice, the lining and the cuffs seem to hold up very well. Maybe after several years of hard use I'll notice if the Fivestar is less qualitative or not.

Doubling every 10 years sounds about right, most other things seem to follow with that, except wages of course.
Seems to me to be a rather subjective and non-scientific statement. As I wrote, many successful companies can maintain lower prices thanks to reformed production methods etc. Doubling every 10 years is not an universal principle in my opinion.

Simply consider the average salary for the workers in Pakistan and in Scotland, and you'll have a pretty good picture here...
Yes, I'm unfortunately aware of the likely huge salary difference, but again, salaries and material costs are just two of several components that make up the final price tag.

In conclusion I understand why Aero and ELC have their price tags and can continuosly increase their prices. It's because there are buyers who are prepared to pay what they demand. Apparently enough people think those jackets are worth their prices. Some say, you pay for what you get. When it comes to fashion I'd rather say that often you pay for what you perceive you get. Quality and price don't always go hand in hand.

Best regards,
Swedish_Pilot
 
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Amit

New Member
The top end of 5he market like Aeros, Eastmans,Goodwear etc have a targeted market and these guys will not consider others so called lesser brands and unfortunately personally fall under such bracket
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
No, you simply cannot compare the two companies. A basic understanding of the economics of the tax regimes, pay scales etc in the two countries concerned make a comparison rather pointless.

Message Ken at Aero Leather direct and I am pretty sure he won't hold back in putting you right.

If you don't find the retail pricing of strategy of this or that business acceptable then take your custom elsewhere.
 

Saint-ex

Well-Known Member
I wonder if @Ken at Aero Leather already talked about this here.

If I remember well, he justify the price raising by the fact the price was stable around £300 during years, maybe too many, and they had the increase quickly last 10 years.

In fact, if you consider that and the fact they are still cheaper than Eastman, I think price is ok for an Europe made Jacket.
 

Brettafett

Well-Known Member
Many of us own or have owned originals, high end repros and the lower/ mid range like 5 Star and AVI LTHR etc...

My 2019 AVI 'Bronco' may not be the most authentically detailed WWII Bronco repro (in a number of respects), even though it was copied from their original... but I love it for what it is. So comfortable and easy to wear. Its a perfectly good repro flight jacket and looks the part.
But.. a GW, ELC, BK or Aero etc it is not.

The materials used are very different. May not feel like it, but when you get into the details, very, very different. Patterns also.
The likes of GW, ELC, BK and Aero, they have years of expertise with these vintage flight jackets and the nuances of the patterns, materials and the way they were made.
Vastly different from todays patterns, materials and production methods.
The leathers in many cases are specially crafted to mimic as close as possible WWII leathers. Adds a great deal of expense.
Consider the stitch counts, knitwear weave... Also the hardware. In many cases the above sourced new old stock materials or top-end reproduced materials, which are very expensive. Gary of ELC, actually had the zippers for his HLB and Werbers custom made. Huge expense.
Plus these guys own many originals jackets, have studied the details for years and the people that make up these jackets are experts.

Having a jacket look like a 'Whatsit' and called a 'Whatsit', is a very different thing to a jacket that has been copied off an original 'Whatsit' that has been taken apart and studied. And then all the details, components and materials pedantically sourced and replicated to resemble as close as possible in all ways an original WWII "whatsit'...

Absolutely no offence to 5 Star or AVI LTHR (and I own some) and the like, and not to come across as snobby, but its like comparing a Ferrari with a Ford.
Yes, they are all flight jackets, but the devils in the details, and the details are very apparent - also what makes these jackets and the hobby so interesting (and why many are prepared to fork out $$$ for these)...

5 Star and AVI LTHR's jackets are great value for money, well-made and quality jackets... but simply do not have the pattern accuracy, or the same level of 'authenticity' of materials and details as the high end jacket makers. This certainly does not make them bad jackets.

All depends what one is after.
 

917_k

Well-Known Member
I’d agree with what’s been said: if you don’t want to pay the price of an Aero, don’t buy it. But don’t assume that the price increase of an Aero is because the owner is making an enormous profit and you’re being ripped off as a customer.
 

Brent

Well-Known Member
I have avoided posting to this thread, please don't take offense. But until you own your own business, manage employees, pay the taxes, comply with all the stupid federal, state, and local regulations, inventories, and etc. profit margins are a mystery. If there is a profit at all. Over the years I've made so personal loans to my business that I may never pay myself back. But we keep going and try to keep employees happy. Why? Because we love our job and care for our work families. Ken, I believe, has that same philosophy.
Rant over. Carry on.

Regards,
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
But don’t assume that the price increase of an Aero is because the owner is making an enormous profit and you’re being ripped off as a customer.
Especially when there’s a far more obvious culprit for that behavior a couple hundred miles south in Devon... :rolleyes:
 
No, you simply cannot compare the two companies. A basic understanding of the economics of the tax regimes, pay scales etc in the two countries concerned make a comparison rather pointless.

Message Ken at Aero Leather direct and I am pretty sure he won't hold back in putting you right.

If you don't find the retail pricing of strategy of this or that business acceptable then take your custom elsewhere.
Well, I'm not really comparing the two companies. I'm comparing one A-2 jacket with another, and I think that the comparison of the jackets' quality vs price is feasible despite of each company's local and national conditions. Especially from my own point of view as a buyer since the trade takes place on the internet and I'm not limited to a regional offer. Once again, tax, pay scales, salaries, material costs are some of the factors that make up the final price, but not all of the factors. I believe that each business has the possibility to choose and affect their pricing strategy. But I totally agree that it's my decision in the end to order from one manufacturer or another depending on taste and perceived value for the money.


Many of us own or have owned originals, high end repros and the lower/ mid range like 5 Star and AVI LTHR etc...
I understand that many of you have or have owned originals and have a very deep knowledge of A-2s, the difference between patterns, contracts etc., so I'm definately not generalizing and saying that Aeros and Fivestars are the same authentic or qualitative. I haven't owned any original jacket and I haven't studied my own jackets in detail. I really can't tell if my Real Deal is true to an original contract or if my Fivestar isn't. I just wore and compared the jackets side by side and I didn't notice any bigger differences part from design features. Actually my Real Deal came with some deep scars and imperfections, but I guess that's part of the Real Deal idea.

Agree with everything that’s been said above. What perplexes me is why the Swedish_Pilot is complaining about the pricing of a company that is very much middle of the pack in the repro world. :rolleyes:
I'm not really complaining. I'm trying to understand Aero's steep price increase since I bought a jacket in 2008, especially since there are other repro manufacturers who offer as far as I can see comparable jackets, thus offering competition. But I've read the post of @Brettafett and I understand that there are differences between the level of detail, quality of hides etc. when comparing an Aero with other manufacturers. As I wrote previously, I guess it's up to the buyer to assess if the level of accuracy and quality is worth almost 3 times the money...
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Read and agree with what’s been said so far. I’ll add this to it. If price of a new Aero is an issue then why not consider a pre- owned Areo, ELC or GW? If you take a little time you can come up with a used jacket that’s in your size that is mint with very little wear for about half the price of a new one . Several of my repro A2s were purchased previously owned and they are outstanding value for the money. Just a suggestion.
 

Brettafett

Well-Known Member
Thats how many of us found ourselves here... Started with something, became more interested in the details and/or originals... And the men who wore them... then once bitten... never again shy!

Edit: Not to harp on, but for me it was fit that got me started. I started with a Cooper and an Avirex, but they both felt a bit baggy, drooping of the shoulders, etc...
Then I saw an image I of how super cool an original Dubow of the 418BS 340BG looked.This was pre-internet, so not much to go on besides books and magazines.
Eventually discovered Real McCoys NZ and then ELC. Thats when my finances took a dump lol...

If you have not yet, I'd recommend Gary Eastman's TYPE A-2 Identification Manual - epic

And ART OF THE FLIGHT JACKET: Classic Leather Jackets of World War II by JON A. MAGUIR - This is a marvel of a book. Never get tired of paging through it...

After this, you'll never look at flight jackets the same way.
 
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I’d agree with what’s been said: if you don’t want to pay the price of an Aero, don’t buy it. But don’t assume that the price increase of an Aero is because the owner is making an enormous profit and you’re being ripped off as a customer.
That's something I don't assume of course. As I've written earlier, I'm very satisfied with my Aero. I think it's an excellent jacket, and it was very much worth it's price when I bought it. I was just wondering about the price increase, but I realise that my question has touched a sensitive subject as I also compared Aero A-2s with Fivestars, and it was never my intention to step on somebody's toes with this thread.
 

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