Friday, February 1, 2013
For the past 19 years, Jeff Price has had a front row seat to the latest footwear trends in Signal Mountain as co-owner of the town’s sole spot for new soles, J & S Shoes.
Named for owners Jeff and Shirley Price, the store opened in 1994 at Signal Crossing on Taft Highway, just down the street from the Ashley Plaza location it moved to two and a half years ago for the 1,000 extra square feet of space.
“If you haven’t been to the new location, welcome back and come visit us,” said Jeff Price.
His shoe business has undergone many changes since it opened, and more are on the way.
“We have to compete with the Internet, which wasn’t even a forethought 10 years ago,” said Price, adding that his business is currently in the process of developing a website where people from all over the United States can purchase his merchandise.
Yet even with online and other competition, J & S still has many customers who faithfully shop there, some since they were children.
“It’s kind of neat to get to see some of these young people grow up,” said Price, who is beginning to get some second-generation customers now. “It makes me feel old, but I get a satisfaction out of that.”
What sets J & S apart and keeps people coming back is the customer service, he said.
“We try to help with fit and make sure the shoe is right for their needs, because they will have to support their body throughout the day,” said Price. “In the last 10 years, footwear has come a long way and technology is so much better.”
He said he gets a lot of referrals from local physicians, podiatrists and chiropractors whose patients need therapeutic footwear.
“I stay on the same page with them with the new technology in the footwear world,” said Price.
The newest product line added at J & S is locally made Goodhew socks.
“It’s another part of our business that has really grown,” Price said of the sock line, which also includes therapeutic varieties. “It’s not as important as shoes, but getting proper hosiery to wear with your shoes is the next thing.”
Next, he said he would like to expand the store’s selection of athletic shoes and cleats.
“We hope to be able to keep adding lines to broaden what we offer,” Price said.