Today, we’re going to take a trip down memory lane together, reminiscing about the good ol’ days of Kinney Shoes. Ah, yes! Kinney Shoes is a name that brings back so many memories for all of us, doesn’t it?
Let’s start by jogging our memory about the man who started it all, George Kinney. His story is truly inspirational. He began his career as a clerk for some of the biggest shoe manufacturers in New York State, and in 1884, he turned a struggling shoe outlet in Waverly, New York, into a thriving business. He did this by offering working Americans high-quality shoes at reasonable prices. A true innovator, George!
Do you remember how amazing their customer service was? It’s hard to forget. George Kinney knew that the key to success was treating his customers respectfully, offering top-notch service, and providing the best footwear prices. This formula worked wonders; by the early 1900s, the G.R. Kinney Company had become the largest footwear chain in America.
Isn’t it amazing how quickly the company grew? From just one modest store, careful and efficient management saw the opening of 62 stores by the time George Kinney passed away in 1919. His friend and associate, Ed Crom, took the reins, and the company continued to expand, eventually manufacturing its own shoes and opening over 300 stores by the end of the 1920s.
Oh, and who could forget the ’50s, when Kinney Shoes made its way to the suburbs, catering to families in strip malls and suburban shopping centers? By this point, Kinney was one of the largest retailers in the country. However, as they say, all good things must come to an end. The company was short on capital and started seeking a merger. Eventually, in 1963, Woolworths bought the shoe company for a whopping $39 million and renamed it the Kinney Shoe Corporation.
The growth didn’t stop there, though! Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, Kinney Shoes continued expanding and adding divisions, including our beloved Foot Locker in 1974. By 1980, there were a jaw-dropping 2,115 stores in operation. Sadly, as Woolworths began to lose traction, so did Kinney Shoes. In 1998, Woolworth announced the closure of Kinney Shoes, but they decided to keep the Foot Locker brand alive.
So, in a way, Kinney Shoes still lives on in Foot Locker, continuing to offer superb customer service and the best athletic footwear for the price. Isn’t it heartwarming to think that the legacy George Kinney started more than a century ago continues to thrive today?
Now that we’ve taken this nostalgic stroll together, why not relive the journey by watching this fantastic video showcasing the history of Kinney Shoes? It’s a great way to remember the good times and appreciate the company’s incredible story. And hey, remember to like and share the video with others because it’s a beautiful reminder of how far we’ve come.