COLUMBIANA -Cobbler's Corner is launching a new shoe store on wheels, according to owner Terry Thompson.
The store will be available 24/7 and expand service to its industrial client base and, as the Red Wing Shoes exclusive brand distributor, increase brand awareness.
"It will sell and service accounts," Thompson said of the box truck he custom designed and fabricated to hold over 400 pairs of custom-made shoes. The mobile shoe store is aimed, partly, at the shale boom.
"Since their timetable is 12 hours (shifts) we'll try to be on site and be available 24/7 for whatever's needed on site for shoe store services."
The new company, Mobile Shoe Store LLC, will be run by the industrial store Manager Ron Huston and Thompson said one more staff member was hired to support the truck to manage inventory.
The Cobbler's Corner in the Village Plaza in Columbiana since 2006 stocks more than12,000 pairs of shoes in its 14,000 square foot building.
Mike Mettler, the territory sales manager for Red Wing Shoes brands, said the Cobbler's Corner showroom is the largest in northeast Ohio.
Thompson, who can make or fabricate just about anything, said inventory control without the truck is a full-time job for the store that employs 12 people full time and services a 50-mile radius customer base.
"Our store is unique ... we make custom-made shoes," Thompson said. "The truck will be job specific," he said, stocking safety glasses, steel-toed shoes, along with insulated and wool sox.
"We've signed up a lot of industry around here who are going to buy local. The Red Wing goal is brand recognition in our area," said Thompson who has been in business for 38 years. He said Cobbler's Corner has over 150 industrial accounts.
"The truck is basically a shoe store on wheels. It's mainly designed for new shoe sales," Thompson explained. "We have UPS shipping in our store to everywhere in the country."
The truck will be doing cold calls, repair pickups and rotating work shoes for customers.
Mettler said Red Wing would not be doing this if the store and corporate image didn't coincide or meet corporate standards. Thompson is a big believer in buying local.
"I really believe in that," he said. "Every penny stays local ... all of our employees are local. That's important to a lot of businesses. If you want the opinion of shoemaker, we're gearing our business to the valley. Not any (one) business like drilling ... we'll make our product fit all ... one pair at a time. We take care of customers one at a time."
To reach the Mobile Shoe Store call 330-692-1813 or visit Cobblerscorner1.com or on Facebook and Twitter.
Larry Shields can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org