Stan’s Fit For Your Feet Acquires Waxberg’s Walk Shoppe
The acquisition of Waxberg’s, which was announced in early July, came about organically, according to Stan’s Fit For Your Feet owner Jim Sajdak. “We have always been looking to expand our business,” Sajdak told Footwear Insight Extra. “This came up in the beginning of January with conversations between [Waxberg’s owner] Ron Waxberg and myself. We’ve known each other for years and the timing just seemed right for him and his time of his life. Coupled with our desire to expand, it was one of those things where all the pieces came together.”
Added Sajdak, “Our family business histories and philosophies are so similar that this acquisition is really a perfect match. When we connected with the Waxberg family, we immediately were interested in continuing their 102-year-old family business legacy.”
The addition of Waxberg’s, which has been in operation since 1919, gives Stan’s an entry into the Chicago market. Niles, IL, where Waxberg’s is located, is a suburb of Greater Chicago located approximately 15 minutes northeast of O’Hare International Airport. There are three Stan’s Fit For Your Feet locations — in Brookfield, Glendale and Greenfield, WI, and the Sajdak family also owns two New Balance stores and a Vionic store in the Milwaukee area.
Waxberg’s will keep its name, and “99% of the store’s employees are being retained,” said Sajdak, adding, “We are fortunate to inherit, if you will, some really seasoned veterans in the sit-and-fit channel of our business.”
There is a lot of brand cross over between Stan’s and Waxberg’s, with the likes of Alegria, Birkenstock, Brooks, Clarks, Dansko, ECCO, Hoka, Naot, Pikolinos, Taos, Hartjes, New Balance and more. Both stores have Certified Pedorthists on staff, and a focus on customer service. Sajdak expects the stores to learn from each other and share best practices across the board. And Stan’s has a marketing team that will aim to even further enhance the Waxberg’s store image.
Sajdak’s four adult children are involved in the family business as well and all have earned their Certified Pedorthist credentials. Andy is the Director of Operations; David is this Director of Merchandising; Megan is the Director of Marketing; and Ben is Director of Community Outreach.
“I have great involvement from my family as the third generation and they are very excited about continuing our heritage and growing the business,” Sajdak said.
Want more? Look for an expanded version of this story in the upcoming July/August edition of Footwear Insight magazine.