Reyers Shoe Store
First in Footwear
In the old, rusty Western PA steel town of Sharon (population 15,000) you will find, against all odds, the largest shoe store in the world.
Upon first entering Reyers front doors, a vast expanse stretches before you, full of shoes, handbags, jewelry and accessories. You canâ€™t help but smile at the unexpected surprises that await youâ€¦
Go back in time more than a century to find that John Reyer, a German immigrant cobbler, first open the doors to Reyers in 1886 as a tiny 1200 sq. ft. family shoe store. Over the decades, the little shoe store grew and grew by offering customers more styles, more sizes, competitive prices and top-notch old-time family service.
Today, Reyers covers 36,000 sq. ft., making it the world's largest shoe store. 2011 marks our 125th anniversary.
When Carl Reyer took over the business from his father, John, many decades ago, there were six other shoe stores in downtown Sharon; and Reyers sold only womenâ€™s shoes, and only narrows. Each store owner had his own piece of the pie, and the world was at full retail.
By mid-century, son Carl neared retirement. He was 80, and his children were not interested in the shoe business. A friend of Carl knew the Jubelirer family in Pittsburgh, themselves the owners of a shoe store. So they met. Eldest son Harry Jubelirer bought Reyers from Carl Reyer in 1953.
Harry Jubelirer was a very good shoe man and an even better businessman. As competitors would hang up their â€œGoing Out of Businessâ€ signs, Harry would hire the owners and their best sales people, building up his own professional roster, while maintaining good community relations. Harry, along with his brother Sherman (who also moved to Sharon, and who opened a womenâ€™s clothing store), and a couple other businessmen founded the Downtown Sharon Associates, a group devoted to the cooperative marketing of their business district. They also served as Chamber of Commerce board members, and in many charity and community organizations over many years.
Harry soon brought his two sons into the business, and, all together along with their fabulous staff, continued to grow their business and expand their square footage to accommodate it. In 1986, Reyers moved to its current location, covering 36,000 sq. ft. on one floor, with a massive parking lot, easy access, plenty of professional shoe fitters and over 100,000 pairs to choose from.
Over the subsequent years, Reyers has been featured in TIME magazine, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Akron newspapers and magazines, The David Letterman show, Charles Kuraltâ€™s â€œOn The Roadâ€ and more. Reyers has been recognized by the major trade magazine Footwear News as one of the â€œWorldâ€™s Best Shoe Storesâ€. Recently Reyers was honored with the Countyâ€™s Tourism Award and the Chamberâ€™s Phoenix Award, and has twice received Certificates of Recommendation by the PA Senate and the PA House of Representatives.
Reyers is deeply involved in local philanthropies, such as the â€œShoe Our Childrenâ€ foundation, to which Reyers has donated more than 10,000 pairs, the United Way, various animal charities, the Food Warehouse, and the Susan G Komen for the Cure, among others.
Currently, Harryâ€™s sons Mark and Steven are running the business. The owners of Reyers and the professional staff who work for them envision a future full of promise, by continuing to do business as they have always done, in the time-honored traditions of their past.