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Bert Scharfstein acquired Canadian Footwear Ltd. in 1932. The Winnipeg-based company has since gone through many changes – as a wholesaler from the 30s through the 50s, as a footwear discounter from the late 50s, and competing with the big box retailers through the 70s until the late 80s when Bert and his wife died nine days apart.
That was when the most dramatic changes began. Bert’s son Brian bought the business from the estate but he faced a big challenge. Buying the company was the easy part. Finding the right direction for future success was more daunting.
After months of analyzing Canadian Footwear, Brian experienced minor health problems. He saw a specialist who put arch supports – orthotics – in his shoes to ease some pain in his knees. That was when the light bulb went off in his head – offer additional services to better fill customers’ needs.
Brian visited a factory in New Jersey that makes orthotics. He learned everything he could about the industry. He enrolled in a pedorthic class in Chicago. From 1986 to 1990 he invested many dollars and hundreds of hours taking classes to become a Certified Pedorthist, a “foot pharmacist” who dispenses “medication” in the form of socks, orthotics and shoes.
Brian’s pedorthics certification marked a significant change in the company. Canadian Footwear began to specialize, focusing on our customers’ needs, providing education, service and the best in quality footwear and accessories… our “We Fit You” experience. Let us provide you with the “We Fit You” experience today by dropping into any of our 3 Winnipeg locations.
How We Fit You:
The selection of products and services you can find while visiting our stores is unlike that of most regular department or mall-style shoe stores. In addition to the experienced and professional service you will receive, the diverse selection of fashionable yet functional footwear is sure to meet the needs of your entire family.
Whether you are looking for shoes for the office, the construction site or a walk at the cottage, we have the right footwear for you. We are experts at matching our customer’s to the perfect footwear, even for those “hard to fit” type of feet. Our commitment to brands that offer a full range of sizing and multiple width fittings is the key to our success. From the very narrow to the really wide, our selection of quality footwear has been chosen to ensure we are able to fit all different shapes and sizes of feet…even if you are a size 16!
When you visit one of our stores you can expect to leave with a pair of shoes that fit you “just right”. We won’t sell you the next closest size hoping they will feel good later. We pride ourselves on our depth of inventory, and it is our goal to always have your size, “the right size” in stock, right now. In our core products, we are filling in sizes weekly to keep up with demand. At any time, our inventory is in excess of 25,000 pairs of footwear.
Our selection of top name brands include such trusted names as New Balance, Aravon, SAS, Munro and Redwing to name a few. A commitment to finding fashionable shoes that still feel great and fit well is the ongoing mission of our purchasing department. All styles chosen, including the most current and latest trends, are tried on for fit and comfort before we decide to bring them in and add them to our selection. We truly believe that shoes don’t have to be “ugly” to feel comfortable.
For work, play and everyday life, we have the footwear to fit your budget and lifestyle. For the bargain shopper, our Clearance Centre offers great selection at reduced prices.
To further enhance your footwear purchases, we are also delighted to offer a full selection of socks, insoles and shoe care products.
If you have trouble finding what you are looking for, let us know and we will help you find it.
Find out more about Canadian Footwear by visiting its site here.