Retail Resilience

We spoke to independent footwear retailers across the country about the challenges they have faced this year, the strategies they’ve implemented, and how they envision the year ahead.
Beck's San Jose Location Interior

A year removed from its 100th anniversary, fifth-generation-owned Beck’s Shoes is moving forward with confidence despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We slowed our thought process, but nothing has changed for Beck’s Shoes,” says CEO Adam A. Beck who operates the Silicon Valley-based chain of 19 shoe stores that specialize in safety footwear but also offer a range of lifestyle and athletic styles.

“We are very confident in our business model, and know consumers need our niche-type service and products,” adds Beck, who leads the chain with cousin and chain COO Julia Beck-Gomez. “We sell between 2-5 percent of the population within each of our trade areas, and we know that we can improve on that .50 to 1.0 percent within the next 18 months, which is a lot of shoes sold.”

Beyond mask wearing, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Beck’s to alter its service approach. “The mask has really been challenging when servicing consumers,” admits Adam. “Not being able to read the non-verbal cues has forced us to really take it to the next level with charisma and energy while still adapting quickly to the consumers ultimate needs.”

Throughout 2020, the CEO says the chain’s staff has been among its most important assets.

“Our commitment to always find the best talent has not let us down,” says Adam, adding a chain strategy to “double down” with recruitment expenditures has paid dividends.

“We owe so much to the amazing people that work for us,” he says. “Julia and I are motivated to grow internally as well as externally to support the team members/families that have sacrificed to make it happen for us. Words cannot describe how indebted we are to them.” —BM

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Footwear Insight

magazine is a publication from Formula 4 Media that focuses on the business of footwear. It covers topics such as industry trends, retail insights, and manufacturing news. The magazine also features interviews with key players in the footwear industry.

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