It was a choice when our founder, Eric Alon, opened that first store thirty years ago not in a mall tucked off somewhere, but in the heart of a bustling, city neighborhood.
It was a choice to then stay urban and to focus primarily in working-class, underserved communities, opening over sixty-five stores reaching throughout Southern California and recently, Nevada.
The decision to hire locally, to consistently promote from within, to respect people as neighbors and treat them the same way we ourselves wish to be treated—all of these were conscious and deliberate choices.
But then, business, like life, is all about choices. Those choices define WSS.
Today, WSS enjoys a diverse and loyal customer base because it has focused on relationships and not just transactions. By offering customers the brands they want most, at everyday values, with the kind of respectful service they want, choosing that business model over everything else has contributed to one end: customers keep coming back.
Wanting to make a difference is a choice, too. Yes, we sell shoes, but more importantly, we believe in the future and potential of the people who stand in them.
In fact, you could say that it was this very deliberate choice—to make a difference, one community at a time—that started our whole company's journey in the first place.
And it's this same deliberate choice that will guide us steadily forward.