Figured I'd take a few minutes and explain a little why we built such an elaborate store :-)
Many of our customers really don’t know anything about our history, which is to be expected. However, we have quite an interest in custom building businesses in order to elicit specific feelings or reactions from our customers. This is our first shoe store, however it is our fifth… or sixth, I can’t remember, business. We built two restaurants in Mexico (here and here), one in Hungary (here) and had some other things going on. From these experiences we confirmed that the physical surroundings of one’s business is an important contributor of how people feel about your business and as an extension, your products, your integrity and all sorts of things. In Mexico, we took great care to make spaces and places where travelers felt like they were going to a faraway, tropical place where everyone, miraculously knew there name. A friendly place full of great memories and wonderful food and entertainment. When we came to Hungary we created a different feel that would make normal Hungarian customers feel like they were transported to old Mexico and surrounded by friends just by walking through the front door. We never set out to build and operate “just” a restaurant or money making venture. We sell a feeling and over-serve our customers on a regular basis. Because of that, we are rewarded with high repeat business and a very loyal fan base.
When we hung up our aprons and put on some really groovy new shoes, we decided from the start that we would build a shoe store unlike any ever seen before in Hungary or pretty much anywhere. You see, we sell barefoot shoes. Only barefoot shoes, exclusively. When someone tries on barefoot shoes for the first time, their eyes light up, they walk lighter and a smile comes across their face. It’s further enhanced by what they will be walking on. The wearer of barefoot shoes can’t fully appreciate the difference if they are simply walking on concrete or maybe dull tile at the mall. No, a barefoot shoe wearer must experience variation in texture, density and different materials because that’s what you do in barefoot shoes. You feel everything. That’s what got us hooked in the first place, well, that, and my back feels better. So, if you are going to build the best barefoot shoe store in the world, you need to take care to make sure people are able to appreciate one of the most appealing aspects of becoming a barefoot person. To that end, we brought the outside in and created a park inside the building, complete with 45mm “real feel” grass, a real running path, large stones, a sports area with climbing wall, treadmill and exercise area and park benches. You feel me?
We aren’t hippies, we aren’t too picky about what we eat or wear, but we care a lot about how people feel when they are in our business. And so far, the feedback has been outstanding. Many people reading this won’t have the ability to travel to this lovely area of the Transdanubian basin, but if you could I’m sure you would agree. And if you could, we’d make you a killer espresso. Enjoy the gallery of the store and hope to see you in person!