Ashley’s Birkenstock Event: Starting Aug. 21, 2014
History of Ashley’s Footwear
Ashley’s was started in 1994 by Gordon C. Rabing. Gordon was retired after 36 years in the footwear business. He had been in retail management for both Meier & Frank (Macy’s) and Nordstrom. Following the retail years Gordon went into the wholesale side of the business doing product development and later owning an import company. He has, over the years, traveled the world doing product development.
- In 1994 Gordon saw an opportunity for a new type of store with real customer service. He saw that there was almost no customer service in independent shoe stores, let alone department stores.
- Technical knowledge of footwear and foot problems was severely depleted.
- No one had decent inventory of comfortable stylish footwear.
- No stores offered a substantial size and width inventory.
Who is Ashley? Before opening Ashley’s Footwear Gordon conducted between 200 and 300 interviews with women. These were done in malls, on the street, anywhere he could get someone’s attention long enough to describe the coming store’s culture and the inventory that would be carried. Also, he gave the women interviewed, twelve (12) potential names for the store from which to choose.
The name Ashley’s was voted for 70% of the time. Ashley, it turns out, was the favorite name for girls born in 1994, so that may have had something to do with the choice. But, whatever the reason Ashley’s Footwear became the store name. At the time of inception there was no thought of men’s footwear for the store. Now, however, 25% of our business is in footwear for men.
Today Ashley’s is known for technical ability when dealing with difficult fit and/or foot pathology. Our longtime employees are well trained and they all give very personal service.
Ashley’s carries a large inventory of quality, attractive shoes. The business that we do is 70% referrals. These referrals come from our regular customers, physicians, and satisfied patients of physicians. After 19 years Ashley’s enjoys a substantial reputation as a destination shoe store. Not only that, but we get business from all over the U.S.A. and also have a few international customers. Once fitted for shoes at Ashley’s, a detailed (confidential) record is kept on file. With that record we can send customers shoes ordered over the phone or by mail.
We invite you to be an Ashley’s guest. You can then experience the difference for yourself. We really do take pride in the shoe business. We also encourage your input regarding your experience. That’s how we check to make sure we’ve given you the service you expect & deserve.