Journeys Milestone: Biggest Moments

Trendy kicks, choice locations and a clear focus on teens proved to be a successful formula. Here, a look at the retailer’s major moments.

1986
• The first teen-themed test concept opens in Montebello, Calif., under the banner Hardy
• Later that year, the first Journeys store debuts at Rivergate Mall in Nashville, Tenn.

1987

• By year’s end, 12 Journeys stores are in operation in Tennessee, California and Texas

1987-early 1990s
• The company converts existing Flagg Brothers, Hardy and Foot Scene units into Journeys stores

1988

• The retailer launches its grassroots hand-sticker program

1993
• Total store count reaches 90 doors

1994-2000

• Same-store sales increase, on average, 11 percent over seven consecutive years
• Driven by the grunge music scene, Dr. Martens makes up 30 percent of sales

1996
• Redesigned stores feature pay phones and multiple TV screens to encourage teens to treat the shops as a hangout
• The company’s store count hits 100

1997

• Journeys chosen as Retailer of the Year by Footwear News

1998
• The firm doubles its unit base to 200 doors

1999
• Jim Estepa is promoted to president of Journeys
• E-commerce launches
• The store count grows to 300 locations

2000
• First national TV commercial airs on MTV
• The company doubles its marketing spend and invests in a revamped website
• Journeys launches its catalog business, as well as the in-store DIG magazine
• A customer service department is created with three dedicated people. (It has since grown to more than 100 customer service specialists)
• The Special Order Service is launched
• Store count totals 400 units

2001

• Journeys hits 500 stores
• The first Journeys Kidz location opens in Nashville, Tenn.

2002
• A distribution center opens in Lebanon, Tenn.

2003
• The chain grows to 600 doors
• First national print ad appears in Seventeen magazine

2004
• E-commerce launches for Journeys Kidz

2004-2006

• The retailer partners with New York-based nonprofit SHINE (Seeking Harmony in Neighborhoods Everyday) to launch national grant program inspiring young people to positively impact their local communities

2004
• Annual sales hit $500 million
•Genesco Chairman Hal Pennington inducted into the FN Hall of Fame

2005
• Shï by Journeys retail concept launches
• The company establishes a presence in all 50 states with the opening of its 656th store, in Missoula, Mont.
• Store base reaches 700 locations
• Flagship store debuts on 34th Street in Manhattan’s Herald Square

2006
• Journeys Kidz catalog launches
• A second flagship store bows in Miami’s South Beach
• The retailer kicks off the Backyard BBQ summer music, motocross and skate tour

2007
• Shï by Journeys catalog launches
• The chain debuts a skate-specific catalog

2008

• The Journeys Group, including Journeys, Journeys Kidz and Shï by Journeys, totals 1,000 stores
• Genesco receives a $175 million settlement from Finish Line and UBS after a failed merger ends in a lengthy legal battle

2009
• The retail chain dives into social networking with dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages
• E-commerce sites for Journeys, Journeys Kidz and Shï by Journeys merge into a combined site with a universal shopping cart

2010
• The company opens its first international location, in Ontario
• Annual sales top $800 million
• Journeys’ mobile website launches
• Hal Pennington retires
• Genesco President and CEO Bob Dennis assumes chairman’s title

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