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15 Years, Against The Odds Local Small Business Continues to Thrive
By: The Good Feet Stores of the Central Valley
There is always an inherent amount of risk when starting any business, but retail can be especially challenging. First, the initial investment is generally high and it’s usually several years before a retail business is profitable. Additionally, the need for a high traffic location, often makes positioning the store in the most desirable store fronts out of reach for many small start-ups. Add competition and timing to the mix and it’s no wonder that an estimated 50% fail in the first year and that only 9% survive to celebrate 10 years.
“My friends and family thought I was crazy, when I told them I was going to open a store that specialized in arch supports,” commented Larry Schneider, Owner of The Good Feet Stores of the Central Valley. “They physically saw how much the arch supports helped me, but they couldn’t possibly understand just how much better I felt, I understood that. So, despite their misgivings, I forged ahead, content in my belief in the product and desire to share my experience. I opened my first store in Fresno on March 1, 2001, and by the end of the summer things were really starting to come together. Then, the world went on pause, as we all struggled to come to terms with the attacks of 911 and mourned”, remembers Schneider. “Our community, our country and the world have changed a lot in these past 15 years. We have all been riding one wild roller coaster. Obviously, making adjustments is important, but no matter what has been happening around us, I have stayed true to why I got into the business; to help people.”
In the last 15 years, Larry and The Good Feet Stores of the Central Valley have weathered the struggles of a dismal economy by adapting. Since the recession hit in 2008, even established retailers have struggled as they continue to try to maintain their relevance in today’s economy. In January, many major retail giants announced store closings for 2016, proving that retailers of all sizes are still trying to adjust to changes in consumer spending. A California based company, most Good Feet branded arch supports are made in the company’s Carlsbad facility providing local control over production, and appealing to the vast number of consumers who seek to buy American made products. The Good Feet Stores offer 25 different styles in more than 350 sizes, bringing an unmatched variety of products to their clients and providing them the flexibility of wearing arch supports in virtually any style of shoe, including sandals and slippers.
“The way people shop has changed dramatically since we opened in 2001, but the boom of on-line shopping really doesn’t play into our world,” added Schneider. “What we do, in fitting people with arch supports, is so personalized there’s just no replacing the good old-fashioned, face-to-face, way we go about servicing our clients, which includes having them try on the arch supports to feel for themselves, what I discovered so many years ago.”
It’s estimated that 3 out of 4 people will experience a foot or foot-related problem at some time in their life time. And, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association, most Americans will log 75,000 miles on their feet by the age of 50. As a result, Larry and The Good Feet Stores of the Central Valley are positioned to continue helping people live the life they love for many years to come.
Founded in 2001, The Good Feet Stores of the Central Valley provides personally fitted arch supports, and specializes in comfort and diabetic shoes. Based in Fresno, Central Valley Good Feet is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and owns and operates stores in Fresno and Merced with a Visalia location opening in 2016, For more information about The Good Feet Store call 1-866-224-3338.
Larry Schneider, Owner