Armstrong and Richardson Proudly
Celebrates 75 Years in Business
The Ottawa Citizen
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
By Louise Rachlis
This year Armstrong and Richardson Ltd. Shoe Fitting Specialists are celebrating 75 years of continuous service in the City of Ottawa and the region.
The company was founded in 1934 by the late Omar Armstrong and Clarence Richardson. The founders both had extensive experience in fitting corrective footwear and established the business with the principles and ethical standards that built their clientele's trust and confidence.
While the business has evolved over the years, and many changes have taken place, Armstrong and Richardson has retained their emphasis on high quality merchandise and professional service with fitting expertise.
"Fitting shoes is a bit of an art," says Eric Armstrong, the President. "We measure feet, length and width, and it comes with experience. Our people are well trained and assist customers in trying on shoes - with chairs, fitting stools and shoe horns." There are many longtime staff members.
This commitment to service has been maintained by three generations. First by Omar Armstrong, then by his son Blair Armstrong who joined him in 1956, and continued by his grandson Eric Armstrong, President and granddaughter Deanna Armstrong, Vice- president, who joined their father in 1979 and 1981 respectively. Blair is Chairman of the Company.
Armstrong and Richardson is truly a family enterprise. The partners enjoy the close association of Blair's wife Betty'Don, a Director, who offers advice and valuable assistance, and a fourth generation is now involved in the
business. Eric's daughter Jessica is Assistant Manager at the Carlingwood location.
"When I started in the company there were a lot of independent shoe stores in Ottawa, and department stores with serious shoe departments as well," says Blair. "We have stood the test of time. Because our head office is in Ottawa, we can react to our particular marketplace and cater to that more effectively."
While a lot of retailers face competition from the Internet, "we believe that leather footwear is something people like to touch, feel and try on before making a purchase," says Eric, "and our customers have been doing that for generations. They come in and say they used to buy shoes from my dad and my grandfather. We've grown with the community."
"We want to appeal to and fit everyone looking for better quality merchandise," says Blair. "We are proud of our professional service and fitting expertise."
Carrying size 5 to 11 for women and size 7 to 15 for men, in a range of widths, the company maintains a diversity of brands of better quality footwear from around the world. They will also do special orders for their customers. "We want to have the best product available, and attending the large footwear shows is a great resource for us."
Armstrong and Richardson's beautiful stores are located in five Ottawa shopping centres; West at Carlingwood, South at Billings Bridge and in the East at St. Laurent and Place d'Orleans, where there is a company clearance store as well. They also have a location in the Signature Centre in Kanata at the corner of Campeau Drive and Terry Fox Drive.