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Has HSL failed Soap?
Jun 4, 2004 by derek

Mart writes, "I just picked up this from the Skate Connection site. I dunno what it's integrity is, but thought I'd show it here anyway

Soap Shoes Customers - please read:
Heeling Sports Limited, HSL, the company that owns the rights to make and market Soap shoes, will decide shortly whether to continue to offer Soap shoes. There are no new Soap shoe styles in the works at this time and existing inventories are going fast. If you want to see Soap shoes continue to be made available, you may e-mail Soap at custserv@hs-ltd.com and request that they continue to manufacture Soap shoes."

derek adds: Do this. Seriously. And get your friends to buy some flippin soaps. I don't have any information about this right now. But I imagine it's legit.

Jun 4, 2004 Ryan-FST

I recently emailed Soap about the A-sides coming out, and they said that they were suppose to be out in June, but because of the lack of sales, they will probably never release them until sales drastically increase. They also noted they may discontinue making soaps in general, as it says above. Bad news.. better start stockin' up now.

Jun 4, 2004 derek

that sucks so bad because those a-sides kick the broadsides' ass any day. i seriously love those shoes.

man this is not cool at all. wtf hsl.

Jun 4, 2004 Mart

What I don't get is that you ain't been told about it already

I'd seriously get onto Soap and ask them why the hell you've been kept out of the loop

Jun 4, 2004 Mart

You get them in 9s, right? I'll totally have a pair off you if they don't come out

Jun 5, 2004 derek

Alright, i've got some a quote from the ceo for you guys...

"we are going forward with the Express and the Nitro for BTS ?04. We?re planning to introduce a low cost item for Christmas ?04. All the Chaos shoes have been sold."

i think that this is probably the best idea. they sort of jumped into the game with wayyyyy too many models of shoes that were basically just variations of each other. this was probably their biggest fault with the company's success thus far.

Jun 5, 2004 BPsoaps

But you dont know anything more about the a-sides?

Jun 5, 2004 greg_cumberford

I said it in 1999, and will say it again. I feel the future of Soap could have fared much differently provided some fundamental marketing
philosophies were used. In 1999 they missed the boat in terms of internet marketing and how they approached the target demographics. In short, I feel a corporate AND grassroots approach would have been awesome. Anyone remember the grinderfinder and soap chat? Use those two tools, identify and build many "soap crews" around the nation. Use these guys to hold demos, demos, and more demos, and empower the customers buying the shoes. Use the demographic information from the grinder finder to contact the kids in the zipcodes nearby the demos, contact them when special sales are going on for shoes in their size, and keep reminding them about soap.

I've oversimplified things, and I don't have all the answers, but feel Soap could be doing much better if they approached the market and used the internet better. In 1999 I had 2000+ unique i.p. addresses showing up at soapshoe.com every single day. Without any formal backing from soap, no prizes to give away, no soap teams to found/support. 2000+ people a day in 1999 is no small feat. In 2001 the grinder finder database was growing at 2-3% per month. Keep in mind these were proof-of-concept sites, and had much more potenial for a bigger draw.

I'm sure Derek has also been frustrated by Soap's lack of internet usage. I won't put him on the spot and ask him to comment since he works with these people, but my guess is that he feels similar to how I do.

For a target market like Soap's, the internet is an extremely powerful and very inexpensive tool if done correctly. Soap never caught on, and it saddens me to see a fun product go through such a slow and painful death.

Jun 6, 2004 Mart

I also remember you saying that Soap was never coming back, Greg, and that plans for the company to be bought out were lies that Bryndon Smith was weaving all over the place

Also, if the grinderfinder and soap chat were so popular and useful, how about you do something to bring those back, seeing you hosted them?

Jun 6, 2004 greg_cumberford

>>I also remember you saying that Soap was never coming back, Greg, and that plans for the company to be bought out were lies that Bryndon Smith was weaving all over the place

One thing I have learned about the business world is that things change.

However, the truth of the matter is that Soap did not really "come back." Compare Soap's current situation using the time when Soap was starting out as a baseline. Currently Soap/HSL has had numerous false starts with the a-side and informally canceled the shoe. Soaps are getting harder and harder to find in retail stores, and last year their CEO has openly admitted to money troubles with the Soap brand to a cold calling kid (me). Heck, right now HSL is trying to figure out if they should shut down the Soap line.

In my books, this looks more like a continual struggle to survive than a strong comeback.

I can say with great certainty that the part about me saying Bryndon was lying is a misquote.

>>Also, if the grinderfinder and soap chat were so popular and useful, how about you do something to bring those back, seeing you hosted them?

The grinderfinder was very popular. I am not bring it back because I pay for it out of my own pocket, and it can get expensive. Also, I do not have the time to run the website to the level that it deserves. It's as simple as that.

Jun 7, 2004 Mart

Misquote maybe, but you still implied that Brydon had been spinning rumours to keep our hopes up and that there was no hope of Soap coming back

Jun 7, 2004 derek

Another Update from Soap:
I talked to [salesrep]... He said that the buyer [skateconnection.com] over there was probably taking notes while talking to [salesrep] on the phone, and literally wrote down every word [salesrep] said (the guy calls [salesrep] from time to time, and wants to know if there's anything new going on with Soap).

Would you please let Derek know that the reason for the verbiage is that Skate Connection was just trying to increase their sell-through with a "better buy 'em now while they last" type of message.

And fyi... in the meantime, [salesrep] is calling them to ask them to take that off their site.


Jun 7, 2004 derek

hmmm, maybe that is my calling to start up a new grinder finder.

Jun 8, 2004 greg_cumberford

Could be.

If you've got the time to program and maintain it properly, empower the kids, and (most importantly) find the right balance in using the deographical infomation to help the business side I would wholeheartedly support your effort.

[Just don't let the PHB (pointy hair boss - yes, they do exist) have access to the database and let him/her send out a generic spam email to the kids once a week. It's a much more powerful marketing tool than that :-) ]

Aug 4, 2004 phillysoaper

really, i think that the express and nitro are the best soaps anyway. screw the sole plate idea, that isn't going to work. basically, i think the those two actually look like normal shoes. not these big, odd looking things that go on your feet

Aug 4, 2006 AnthoFlex

The last comment on this was over 2 yrs ago but i think we should all try and E-mailing the address shown above and ask HSL to keep producing SOap Shoes....heres the Email address shown above......... custserv@hs-ltd.com

Aug 4, 2006 Kile

I just sent an e-mail out to custserv@hs-ltd.com. When i get
e-mailed back i will let you know...

Aug 4, 2006 SonicSoaper

I'm in.

Mar 21, 2010 Brad

I wonder if that email is any good anymore.

Mar 22, 2010 Kooksoaper13

the answer to the forum is yes

Mar 22, 2010 Brad

Rad. So who's up for some angry mob e-mailing? :D

Dec 29, 2014 Waffle

They have failed Soap. We need a community video to show them that soap is profitable.

Dec 29, 2014 Waffle


Jan 1, 2015 mcgrinder2011

Funny, I also have anger issues.

and Seriously, HSL should've stepped up they're game while they were still alive! Maybe kept all soap propaganda AWAY from fucking heelys.

Jan 1, 2015 Waffle

Ryan J wants to make a community vid so do I maybe that will drill through their skulls.

Jan 3, 2015 mcgrinder2011

Maybe... Let's pray to god this video actually gets through their thick skulls.
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