Olga and Jim Batsanis credit Qoin with helping to get their business through the downturn of COVID-19.

Established in 1956 by Jim’s father, Arthur, Batsanis sells men’s shoes. At one stage it was one of Melbourne’s best-known shoemakers, with eight stores and export markets, before the demise of tariffs led to a flood of cheap imports and crippled the local industry.

To survive, Batsanis shifted manufacture to China, but unlike many similar businesses, quality remains the hallmark of their business model. These days, the shoes are designed in Australia by Olga and made from the best Italian leather in China.

Events forced another radical change: six years ago, as retail rents skyrocketed, they closed all their stores and continued with online sales only.

In one sense, this insulated them from COVID, says Olga. But since they were best known for work shoes, dress shoes and wedding shoes, their market collapsed during the Melbourne lockdown. No one was going to work, going out or getting married. Even when people did return to the workplace, they dressed more casually.

How Qoin came to the rescue

In the midst of the crisis, one of their customers mentioned Qoin. He reckoned it would be good for their business. Olga and Jim had never heard of it. They were a little nervous about it, but figured they had nothing to lose. Their customer helped them download the app and open a wallet, and list their business on the Qoin website.

The effect was immediate. The orders started rolling in.

“It really helped us through a very tough time,” Olga says.

She couldn’t help noticing how friendly her Qoin customers were.

“It’s a bit of a network, a community. I think the fact that Qoin is Australian gives me a lot more confidence. I really want to grow the Qoin side.”

Qoin helps the business move forward

They are now working to list their products in the Qoin shop. And they plan to adjust their range of shoes to fit the times with more casual shoes—sneakers, slip-ons and driving shoes. Once borders re-open, they plan to resume their biannual trips to China to visit their contact and the factory where their shoes are made.

So far they haven’t spent any of their Qoin wallet, though Olga has been eyeing a nearby restaurant that accepts Qoin. When they do visit, there will be reason to celebrate surviving a tough year!

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