One of New England’s oldest family owned and operated shoe stores.
The Barn has a tight-knit staff that has worked together, in some cases, for over twenty-five years. Our philosophy is family owned and family operated. Our employees are family. Many of our employees have been promoted to serve as department Managers. Any one of our managers can be found working on the floor servicing the shoe needs of our customers. This unique aspect of The Barn Family Shoe Store staff is an integral part of our customers buying experience. Our management team provide service that clearly keeps The Barn Family Shoe Store true to our mission – AFFORDABLE PRICES WITH PRICELESS SERVICE.
This dedicated staff largely make up the reason why The Barn Family Shoe Store has been the recipient of numerous accolades including:
Check out why The Barn Family Shoe Store continues to be run as a family-owned business:
(Joe Carrigan, Owner & President of The Barn Family Shoe Store)
Q. Why have you continued to keep The Barn a family shoe store?
A. “I started working here in 1991 for the original owners of The Barn Family Shoe Store where I eventually became General Manager for nearly 20 years. My family inherited The Barn upon the death of Karen Stives in 2015, a former silver medal equestrian Olympian, whose father founded the company in 1948. My wife, Cindy, left a corporate accounting career to manage the business office in 2013. Each family member has a title on paper and are identical twins, Ryan and Brendan, are all hands on deck when it comes to making business decisions about the store. While Ryan is a portfolio manager for Fidelity Investments, Brendan, came aboard in 2012, choosing the family business over a law career. It’s an honor and a privilege to carry the torch and keep the Barn family legacy going forward.”
Q. What do you attribute to The Barn’s success for over 70 years?
A. “ I attribute The Barn’s success to our dedicated employees and loyal customers. Several of our Mangers/Buyers started out selling on the floor and rose through the ranks to become Mangers/Buyers. They’ve more or less grown up with the Barn family and we are fortunate to have such a committed group of professionals who love what they do. And, our loyal customers have been coming to The Barn and The Kids Barn for years, and now their children are coming with their kids. We have been fortunate to be able to build upon that great tradition.”
Q. What’s your response to those that say the independent retailer is a dying breed?
A. “I believe that there is no substitute for trying shoes on and seeing what fits best. People value the tactile experience of shopping, so to have the opportunity to feel the high quality material of the shoes and to have an experienced shoe sales person properly fit your feet and make certain recommendations is a vital concept, particularly for buying shoes– that’s here to stay.”
Q. What attracted you to work at The Barn?
A. “I’m an accountant by trade, but sitting behind a desk in a corporate job was not the place for me. The Barn is a fun, fast paced place to work, and I love the change of merchandise with the seasons. No two days are alike. I’m always learning from our customers about their likes and dislikes; there’s always something new going on here. It’s exciting to think about ways that we can continue to improve upon The Barn.”
Q. Why do you think The Barn has been successful since its beginning in 1948?
A. “The Barn has been one of the leading shoe retailers in New England for over 60 years because we have stayed true to our core mission—To Service Our Customer. We offer personal service, which you don’t find in today’s shoe stores. And, our Managers are also our Buyers, so they’re on the floor and know first hand about the merchandise. The styles may have changed but not our service.”
Q. How have you seen The Barn change since you started working here?
A. “To give a little historical perspective, the shoe industry started in Massachusetts, and due to our proximity near the water, our state became the desirable place to build shoe factories. The Barn originated by purchasing overstock, and seconds from these mills. Our customers started shopping at The Barn to get deals, cheaper brands. When I began working here in 1991, we were a discount shoe store. As a Buyer and Manager, I saw a very steady business but I also saw an opportunity for growth. I encouraged the owners to take a risk and branch out to include more expensive, quality brands. These brands are not allowed to be discounted anywhere, so we took a risk in selling full price merchandise. It took a while to build momentum; Mephisto was the first regularly priced shoe we carried. Over time, customers started to appreciate the transition and sought out a higher quality shoe that was both comfortable and stylish. They appreciated the value in paying a little more for a lot more quality. We’ve never turned back and keep on adapting.”
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