Australia’s Concrete Cowboys Up In Arms Over R.M. Williams Price Increase

Talk about an 'Australia tax'...

Australia’s Concrete Cowboys Up In Arms Over R.M. Williams Price Increase

R.M. Williams is an Australian institution, with their iconic work boots worn by everyone from stockmen to stockbrokers. But as the cost of living continues to skyrocket, the famous footwear brand has just announced a substantial price increase…

The South Australian company, which was recently bought by billionaire mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and his wife Nicola, has increased the price of its flagship Comfort Craftsman elastic-sided boots to AU$649. That’s sure to frustrate more than a few ‘concrete cowboys’.

Previously, Comfort Craftsman boots retailed for AU$595 – already a lot of money to be spending on boots – meaning the new price represents a roughly 9% price hike.

“Like any company, R.M. Williams reviews pricing periodically and, if necessary, adjusts for exchange rate pressures, the rate of inflation, the rising costs of premium raw materials, manufacturing and transportation,” R.M. Williams CEO Paul Grossman told The Australian. He continued:

“It should be noted that we’re employing more Australians than ever and will continue to grow this commitment as we double-down on our commitment to onshore manufacturing… Every pair of boots is handcrafted in our Adelaide workshop, just as they always have been and just as they always will be.”

Paul Grossman
The R.M. Williams factory in Adelaide. Image: YouTube

Many of R.M. Williams’ cheaper products (although it’s all relative), such as most of their clothing, accessories, sneakers and caps, are no longer made in Australia and are instead made in China and South-East Asia. That said, the Forrests have announced their intentions to return the brand to being 100% Australian-made.

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Before the Forrests bought the brand and returned it to Australian ownership in 2020, it was majority-owned by the French luxury conglomerate LVMH, with Aussie actor and huge R.M. Williams fan Hugh Jackman also reportedly owning a reasonably substantial stake in the brand.

We guess RM isn’t immune to inflation and the rising cost of living… But we’d argue that for some Aussie gents, their RMs are essential items.


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