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Built for Success

Fifth and sixth generations of the Beck’s Shoes family: Adam Beck, Olivia Beck, Kellan Gomez, Julia Beck-Gomez and Deklan Gomez.
Success is generational at Beck’s Shoes.

Founded in 1919, Beck’s Shoes is run today by cousins Adam Beck and Julia Beck-Gomez, the fifth generation to helm the business. Headquartered in Campbell, CA, Beck’s Shoes is the top scoring store on the 2022 Gold Medal Service Award list. 

Beck’s is building on an impressive history with a forward-looking approach — maintaining its outstanding service in its stores while also acquiring other family businesses with the goal of maintaining the legacies of families who are ready to sell their stores. 

After having acquired 11 business (14 stores) over the past two-plus years, Beck’s now has 23 brick-and-mortar locations and more than 100 employees. (Plus, three Shoemobiles serving the occupational market.) There are Beck’s locations in California, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Beck’s plans to lean into its current growth strategy over the next few years. “We’re going to continue to go down that direction,” says Adam Beck. “We feel like there’s going to be more opportunity for us to carry on the legacy of other family businesses. We could see possibly two or three family acquisitions per year for the next five years.” 

Adam and Julia believe there is a ‘feel good’ aspect to this avenue of growth, telling Footwear Insight, “We feel incredibly proud to be in the position to carry on something that someone invested their life into. We’ve done the same. We can relate. Additionally at the end of the day, this only makes us and our industry stronger. We learn from all these businesses that we’ve take on. Regardless of what people perceive of us or our intentions, we are very passionate about this industry and what this specific channel represents.”

Beck’s is also currently in the process of creating a “proof of concept” for Beck’s Shoes Rack, driven by the fact that each time Beck’s acquires a business there are thousands of pairs of shoes that need to be liquidated. The Beck’s team sees potential for opening one Beck’s Shoes Rack for each 10-12 store acquisitions going forward. The Rack stores would be 60% liquidation and 40% in-line product. The first is opening soon in Boulder Creek, CA.

Another key focus for the year ahead is the Beck’s Shoes website. It gets a small percentage of time and energy now, says Adam, but Beck’s will soon be launching a new platform online and plans to get more aggressive when it comes to digital marketing and social media. “We’re going to put a lot of energy and effort into that in 2023,” he says. “We’re expecting double the volume on our website. That’s the goal.” 

Store team leader Toni Contreras discusses the Aetrex “Albert 2” foot scanning technology with Beck's Shoes customer Danielle Bieser.
Building Blocks of Success

The Beck’s Shoes success story is built not just on the numbers, though, but also on things such as a commitment to customer service, investing in culture building, and creating meaningful relationships with others in the industry.

The Beck’s team has held a Leadership Summit each of the past five years, hosting retailers and vendors. Beck’s plans to host 20 vendors and 175 participants for the next one in November 2023. The goal is to bring likeminded individuals together to share ideas, particularly on new recruitment strategies and retention.

Says Julia, “We enjoy bringing people into our business and getting feedback. We are our own competition. Building a network of retailers that can be transparent with each other and strengthen the independent channel is only going to benefit all of us.”

A key lesson both Adam and Julia tell us has fueled their success is to “control the controllable.” 

“Pour yourself into your business and the things you have control over,” explains Adam. “Invest in people and developing talent. What you are doing each day to motivate your staff – that is controllable. What your vendors do and how they price products – you can’t control that.”

When it comes to customer service, there are three things that Beck’s staffers focus on — the experience, touching on all 5 senses; the value proposition – foot measurements, 3D foot scans, custom fitting; and Beck’s “Basic 8” sales process with qualifying questions. Allowing the consumer to feel like they’re dealing with a human being, not a salesperson, is key.

“We truly love what we do,” says Adam. “Our staff and our team deserve recognition. They’re the ones on the front lines every day. The reality is retail is a grind. But if you can create consistency on a retail selling floor, that’s nothing short of a miracle in my opinion.”

Beck’s uses a custom created “double brannock” measuring device created by their grandfather, 3 rd generation Bill Beck. Here, store team leader Toni Contreras measures the feet of customer Patrick Gomez.

See Full List of Gold Medal Service Award Winners