"Customers are the most important people in any business."
That's the lesson Gary Houser learned when he began his shoe career working for International Shoe Corporation while going to college in Charlotte, NC. He worked part time in stock and sales; selling women’s shoes, men’s shoes, and kids’ shoes. Before long, he was promoted to assistant manager.
Eventually, Mr. Houser was offered the manager position at Phillip Shoes in the Charlotte Town Mall. Gary was relocated several times to manage stores, once to Asheville, NC and then to Charleston, WV. After paying his dues, he was transferred back to Charlotte, NC as district manager of International Shoe Company.
In 1973 Gary and a few partners had the opportunity to buy into a three-store lease operation. The department store, called Bon Marche, was headquartered in Asheville, NC. After having success with those stores, Gary decided to venture out on his own.
The first Houser Shoes opened in Gastonia, NC in 1976. In 2000, Gary and his daughter, Beth, opened GB Shoe Warehouse - one of the Southeast's largest shoe stores. This 35,000 square foot concept store offers brand name shoes at prices up to 75 percent off regular department store prices. GB has a huge selection of Women’s Shoes, Men’s Shoes, and Children’s Shoes, all under one roof. Around the same time, Houser Shoes ventured into selling shoes online with the development of an online store. In 2004, HouserShoes.com was launched with the goal of being a leading seller of shoes online. The website has continued to grow, expanding the product base and adding new features. Despite the lack of face to face interaction when buying shoes online, Gary Houser has always kept the same philosophy in mind – that customers are the most important people in any business.
Currently, there are approximately 150 people employed with Houser Shoes. Houser Shoes, GB Shoe Warehouse, and GB Shoes form a ten-store operation that is one of the Southeast's largest independent retailers. The company is still owned and operated by Gary Houser. We are a small company that believes in making our people feel special. We realize that our staff is the backbone of our existence, and that our customers have faces and names, not just numbers.
That's why you'll find friendly, welcoming employees at all of the Houser Shoes stores and in our online customer service department. The Houser Shoes family is made up of the kind of people who will make your shopping experience a real pleasure.
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