CHARLOTTE, N.C., October 7, 2022 – Footwear industry innovator Rack Room Shoes is celebrating its 100th anniversary. To commemorate the centennial milestone, the national family shoe retailer hosted a special event at its corporate headquarters to highlight key moments in its history while recognizing and thanking vendors and employees who have contributed to the company's success.
“The only way a brand can survive decades, much less a century is to move forward, evolve and stay current,” said Rack Room Shoes CEO and President Mark Lardie. “We are humbled to have an opportunity to reflect on our rich history and the vision of our founders Phil Levinson and Mort Lerner.”
Rack Room Shoes Origin and Growth
In 1922 Phil Levinson opened Phil's Shoes in Salisbury, N.C. Phil's son-in-law, Mort Lerner, eventually opened Lerner Shoes and Rack Room Shoes in 1956. Shortly after Deichmann acquired Rack Room Shoes and Lerner Shoes in 1986, Rack Room Shoes began expanding beyond the Carolinas.
In 1990, Rack Room Shoes opened its 100th location and grew its presence by acquiring Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse in 2002. Rack Room Shoes now operates more than 500 locations in 36 states with nearly 6,000 associates in stores and the corporate office.
"The secret of our success is understanding our customers. From the very beginning, Rack Room Shoes catered to the entire family with our varied selection, while putting our corporate mission "the company must serve the people” first," said Heinrich Deichmann, Chief Executive Officer of Deichmann SE, parent company of Rack Room Shoes.
Rack Room Shoes Gives
Giving back is a part of Rack Room Shoes’ corporate culture with a guiding principle of service. Through its ongoing corporate social responsibility program, Rack Room Shoes Gives, the brand provides ways in which customers and employees can seek support for charitable organizations, instilling trust and inspiration in the communities it serves.
In 2021, Rack Room Shoes’ partnerships with local and national organizations positively impacted thousands of children and families in the communities they serve, including:
According to Lardie, Rack Room Shoes’ guiding principle to 'serve the people' – while continuing to invest in talent, technology, and community – will ensure the brand remains vibrant, fresh, and relevant for the next 100 years.
For more information about Rack Room Shoes' 100th-year celebration, please visit
the brand’s 100 Years Forward website.