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Shoe Polish

There's no business like this shoe business.

Make no mistake: Larry's Shoes wants to sell shoes. In business for almost half a century, this men's shoe retailer--which boasts 13 locations to date--prides itself first and last on its merchandise. Yet there's more to Larry's than meets the foot.

"This isn't like any other shoe store," enthuses Elliot Goodwin, 39, president of the Ft. Worth, Texas, company that bears his father's name. No empty boast, this. To make shoe shopping enjoyable--a considerable marketing challenge, especially when you consider Larry's primary customers are notoriously shopaphobic males--the company recently introduced the concept of "shoppertainment" in its stores.

Shopper what? Larry's treats its customers to such attractions as a cappuccino bar, a foot massage parlor, and a celebrity shoe museum featuring items from Marilyn Monroe, Elton John and the like. "We enhance everything we can in the store to set it apart from other retail shopping experiences," says Goodwin.

And setting your business apart, according to this entrepreneur, is increasingly the way to knock your customers' socks off.

Contact Source

Larry's Shoes, 3229 Altamere, Ft. Worth, TX 76116, (817) 731-4961

This story appears in the July 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »