California-based retailer Beck’s Shoes is charging ahead in 2023 with even more store openings, including a new concept that will help complement the company’s rapidly expanding roster.
Since 2019, Beck’s Shoes has acquired 11 businesses and established 14 additional stores, totaling 22 doors in six states. Its most recent location opened this fall in Denver.
Coming up in January, the 103-year-old family-owned chain will debut its first Beck’s Shoes Rack location in Boulder Creek, Calif. The company — which is led by cousins Adam Beck as CEO and Julia Beck-Gomez as COO — acquired a building in Beck’s hometown that will house the store and serve as a proof of concept for further openings.
“Aesthetically it will have the same look and feel [as our regular stores] with distressed wood walls and our signature elements,” said Beck. “But it’s going to be all open stock and I’m going to make the shelving modular so we can move it and rearrange the space easily.” He noted that 60% of the merchandise will be liquidation items that are heavily discounted, and 40% will be full price.
“This is something that’s been overdue and needed for quite some time,” added Beck. He explained that Beck’s Shoes stores are not promotional and sell at full price, but with 22 locations, it needs an avenue to move older inventory in order to keep its selection fresh.
Additionally, he said, through its acquisitions, the company has inherited roughly 2,000 pairs of unwanted shoes per store. “That, in conjunction with just your normal seasonal spring and fall cleanup, where you’re just liquidating the old to bring in the new, it has a compound effect,” Beck said.
He estimates that the company needs one Rack store for every 10 Beck’s Shoes locations. “So we’re in need of two to be opened ASAP and I would look for a third location in 2023,” said Beck.
For future Rack stores, the retailer is in talks with Simon Property Group about leasing temporary spaces in its outlet locations near its core geographic markets.
And when it comes to growing its namesake Beck’s Shoes banner, the CEO said he is constantly engaged in conversations with businesses about acquisitions and has seven or eight in the pipeline but with no definite timeline.
“These are family-owned businesses,” Beck explained. “They don’t have a next generation, but the owners are still engaged. They’re still passionate. They have invested their lives into these stores, and some say, ‘Look, I’ve got a couple more years in me. I’m still having fun.’ So the timing has to be right.”
Beck’s rapid expansion recently earned it a spot on the INC 5000 list, ranking at 4460th. Companies are ranked according to their percentage revenue growth from 2018 to 2021, and they must be U.S.-based privately held, for-profit or independent — not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies. The minimum revenue required for 2018 is $100,000; and for 2021 it is $2 million.