Same store, new faces: Universal Footwear to continue top-quality service under new ownership

Family-run Universal Footwear will continue its tradition of excellence as a new generation takes ownership.

From left: Malcolm, Debbie, Jordan, August and Chandra at Universal Footwear. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

Current owners of Universal Footwear, Malcolm and Debbie Bott, will soon be hanging their boots up to dry as they pass their business on down the family. Their son Jordan Bott promises “the same quality of service, just a different face,” as he and his wife Chandra step up to take over Revelstoke’s go-to footwear store.

The family-owned and operated business has been supplying locals with quality footwear and services for close to 40 years. The store boasts a wide selection of best-selling brands such as Blundstones, Birkenstocks, Muck Boots, Timberland and more.

As well as product variety, the store also offers an in-house repair service. Malcolm explains: “Our repair business mainly focuses on gluing, stitching and stretching. We also repair and rebuild Birkenstocks, whether it is re-sealing cork or replacing the whole foot-bed.” According to Malcolm, one unanimous value at Universal Footwear, which transcends the generations of ownership. “Our first priority is always our customers and their need.” No matter the issue, the team promise to try and fix the problem “even if it’s just a quick polish up!”

Jordan and Malcolm both share the same ideals when it comes to providing excellent service. With the steady growth and availability of online shopping, the pair feel that stores must go the extra mile to keep up with the competition.

“You can’t fit online,” Jordan explains. “We are a true professional service here. There is a whole interview process that happens first. What do you need these shoes for? How often do you wear them?” The importance of remembering names, faces and details is key to both generations of owners too. “Word of mouth is still an undeniably valuable tool within the industry,” says Malcolm.

Moving forward, as Jordan and Chandra take the reins, they hope that their years of experience and expertise will continue to drive business. After all, this isn’t Jordan’s first rodeo – he’s been in and out of the industry since he could just about walk. “Since I was a baby I was attending buying shows with my parents. I’ve been involved in this store since I was literally five years old. Now our son August has already attended two shows this past month.”

Now returning to his roots, Jordan is hoping that the recent move back to Revelstoke and the business will allow his family a good ‘foothold’ in the community, as well as enabling new possibilities and direction for the store.

As much as it is difficult to take the step back after many years, Malcolm believes that the transition will be a good thing: “Jordan and Chandra are coming in with younger blood and a fresh vision – I think the store and the community will benefit from it.”

Step in to Universal Footwear at 7-555 Alpine Mall, Revelstoke, BC V0E 2S0, and keep an eye on their journey on Instagram at @universalfootwear.