In 1892, Milton Florsheim began producing shoes in a small factory located in Chicago, Illinois. The first pairs of Florsheim shoes made by Milton and his father, Sigmund, were a remarkable combination of style, comfort and high quality workmanship.
Milton realized from the very beginning that a high quality product was only one of the factors necessary for success. He understood that a strong distribution network was the other key component and would be essential in making certain his exceptional footwear found its customers. Accordingly, he provided support that enabled a number of entrepreneurs to establish retail businesses, which made Florsheim shoes readily available to the consumers in hundreds of small towns and villages across the nation.
Thus, the Florsheim Company was formed on the breakthrough ideas of mass-producing shoes of exceptional quality, and the establishment of a strong, entrepreneurial dealer network. Not surprisingly, this combination was an immediate success.
Around the turn of the century, the company began exploring other innovative methods of distributing and selling its shoes that would enhance the already established network. These included expanding wholesale distribution to metropolitan areas around the country, and the opening of a series of company-owned retail outlets. These outlets became the Company's Flagship stores that displayed and sold the entire Florsheim product line. Now, the partnership that would help Florsheim grow from a small factory into a brand and organization valued and respected all over the world was firmly in place."