About - Kunitz Shoes - Edmonton Family Shoe Store

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The Kunitz Shoes Story

The Beginnings

Selection, quality, style. The Kunitz family have been serving up “Really Good Shoes” since 1981.

August 5th, 1981 was the day the doors opened on a then tiny shoe store under the name of Kobbler King. It was a cute little shop complete with a fish tank which the owners, Dwane and Darlene Kunitz, figured would be an indispensable tool in impressing our would be clientele: – Children. Much to the shock of our new little customers, measurements were taken (sometimes accompanied by tears…), and shoes were brought out. Each person was individually sized and fitted.

This first idea of service and selection is what has carried Kunitz Shoes’ through the decades and why it remains an outstanding shop today. Those first 10 years were tough. Struggling through the problems that will always face a new business is no easy feat, especially while trying to forge ahead with a time honoured philosophy of service and quality above all else

And It Grew!

By 1991 the little shoe store had established a core of regular customers and the shop was in need of renovations (a bigger fish tank this time!). With the renovations came 2 major steps in our history: The first was leaving behind the franchised name of Kobbler King in exchange for Kunitz Shoes. The second was moving the business into adult as well as kids shoes. The idea of a sit-and-fit shoe shop seemed to be even more needed by grownups than it did for the kids. 7 eager years of shoe service continued, establishing Kunitz Shoes as the place where you could come in, sit down, and have yourself fitted into ”really good shoes” with no compromise to style.

The Big Move

In 2000, the Kunitz’s realized a goal that had been a dream since the beginning. They would move to a larger location outside of a mall. The Southside store was built where it stands today dubbed “the cathedral of shoe shops” by one customer. The fish, again, were offered more space and (perhaps because of that?) business soared. Almost 20 years after opening the door, the Kunitz Shoes philosophy of quality and service was ingrained.

The Seams Burst

In early 2009 Kunitz Shoes once again pushed out its walls for a bit more elbow room. With the addition of a third more floor space on the southside, we are now better equipped to serve our customers. The stock space was also doubled- this lesser seen area of the store is the nerve centre and heart of the operation and with a much needed expansion we were able to add many new (and much sought after) lines of shoes. Our south side location now exceeds 5,500 square feet and boasts a fish tank that exceeds 100 gallons. Who knew fish, or shoes for that matter, needed so much space!

2011 saw the Kunitz Family open their 2nd location, on Jasper Avenue. For 10 years this beautiful 3600 square foot store served cities central neighbourhoods and office towers.

A New Generation

In an effort to maintain unparalleled merchandise selection and quality service in an independently owned shoe shop, the second generation of Kunitz’s are taking the family name to new heights. In 2020 (mid pandemic), the Kunitz family put out a survey asking customers which area of the city could best use “really good shoes”.  The resounding answer was West! In March 2021, while celebrating our 40th year of business, the doors on our new West Edmonton location were opened… just as we closed the doors on our Jasper Ave location.

Wrap Up

Okay. We’ve covered a lot of ground. Here’s the ending – for over 40 years Kunitz Shoes has been fitting our customers into the shoes that they need. It is not a shop where one often comes with the intentions of buying a specific shoe. Instead, if you come to us with what you want, we’ll do our best to make sure you leave with what you need.