Brown’s Shoe Fit adds options
4 Aug 2019
Helping customers find shoes that fit perfectly and meet their unique requirements has been the mission of Brown’s Shoe Fit, 210 S. 25th St, since the enterprise opened for business locally in July 1996.
Craig Jarrard, the Fort Dodge store’s owner-manager, said being focused relentlessly on what patrons need and desire is the key to success in the highly competitive retail world.
“We try to find the product that works best for the customer,” he said. “We want to sell them what’s going to work for them. I still think retail is more of a people business than a product business. … We help our customers. It is 100 percent customer-focused.”
With that in mind, this spring when a nearby storefront that was long occupied by Earl May Nursery and Garden Center became empty, Jarrard saw an opportunity to broaden his store’s marketing focus.
“We decided to have a temporary shoe sale there,” he said. “That was the middle of May. We’ve turned it into an ongoing shoe sale. We call it Brown’s Sale Rack.”
The Sale Rack was initially envisioned as a short-term venture. Jarrard said it is turning out to be a much more durable undertaking than expected and is continuing to evolve.
“It’s doing well and it has some legs to it,” he said, noting that customers have shown strong support for this new option. “We advertised a temporary sale in May and we’ve never closed it. … The response has been good and now we’re adding our summer clearance sale items to it and we’re also buying special product just for the Sale Rack store.”
Jarrard said changes in the local marketplace for shoes created an opening for a venture like Brown’s Sale Rack to thrive. He said the community lost five stores that sold shoes in the last five years and those closings left some of the shoe options customers had long depended upon unaddressed.