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Since 1997 Silcott’s Shoes Sets Pace for Footwear – Makes Move Across Street to Larger Quarters

Written by Mary Ellen Michna. Posted in Business, Featured

Published on October 10, 2015 with No Comments

BRANDS CARRIED AT SILCOTT’S Ugg, Red Wing, Sorel, Birkenstock, Hunter, SAS, New Balance, Keen, Sperry, Johnston & Murphy, Alegria, Dansko, Thorogood, Cole Haan, Frye, Aravon, Cobb Hill, Sanuk, Vionic, Wolky, Mephisto, Dr. Martens, Born, Teva, Smartwool, Northface, Florsheim, EMU.

“I wanted to have my own business,” reflects Brent Silcott, 41, “I thought it was something I could do for the long run.”

And a long run it has been for Silcott’s Shoes of Valparaiso:  18 years to be exact. Most recently Brent took a few steps across the street, moving to 18 Washington Street (into the building that previously housed the Valparaiso Hobby Shop).

The move from1, 200 square feet to 6,000 square feet provides room for additional stock, great displays for browsing and handicap accessibility. He explains that the demand for safety, athletic, orthopedic and children’s footwear has grown along with the growth of the general population. The store will meet those needs with a larger inventory of styles, sizes and widths.

“Through years of trial and error, I have come up with the perfect formula of brands to provide the “best of the best” footwear all under one roof,” says Silcott, “We have sizes, selection and service at the right price every day.”

When the store opened in 1997, the 23-year-old featured an inventory of mainly fashion and casual shoes with a boutique-type flair. He still carries these items but has come full circle. The brands read like an A-list for footwear.

According to Silcott, the store is in a niche of its own, a “one-of-a-kind” store in Northwest Indiana. While some might consider online shopping to be competition, he feels it has the opposite effect, noting that his customers can see, touch, feel the shoe on the foot and walk around the store before purchasing. “And the most important benefit is the knowledge of my 18 years of shoe fitting experience. I insist on getting the right fit every time. Knowing the particulars of each shoe’s construction and realizing that every one’s feet are different, I don’t take the fitting process lightly.

“Over 80% of the people who walk into our store wearing shoes bought elsewhere, particularly in self-service stores and online, are wearing the wrong size shoe. This can result in foot, ankle, knee, hip, back and other health issues.”

As a matter of principle, Silcott beats authorized online dealers every time with a $5 to $10 discount. He points out, a customer who sits here and tries on five pairs of shoes is saving time.  When shopping online, the same customer would be boxing up and sending the shoes back five times.

For Silcott, Valparaiso was home growing up.  He states it simply, “I still live here, I eat here and I shop here. Shopping locally has an impact on the future of the community.”

He attributes the success of the store to the community, loyal customers who shop consistently and who have trusted him throughout the years, and new customers who come looking for quality footwear. It is not just a living for him, he explains, but his purpose is to help people get into the right shoe. “It’s more than important. It is a necessity. It is a must!”

If everyone shopped online for everything, there would be no brick and mortar stores, he notes, adding, “We have a great downtown in Valparaiso. I am glad to be part of Valparaiso’s thriving business community for the last 18 years.  I invite people to stop in and see our new quarters and our great inventory. We are open Monday through Saturday.”

For a man who has worked six days a week for 18 years and not had a vacation in 12 years, Silcott says, “I want to be here and I plan to keep the store going for many years.”

Store hours are Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 219-462-7178.

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