A Brief History of Working Person’s Store

Working Person’s Store opened its doors on August 1, 1995, when Dennis Deniger (Denmar Enterprises) purchased the V&J Shoe Repair business and moved it to Lakeville, Indiana from South Bend, Indiana.  From the beginning, the goal was to build a business dedicated to serving the needs and wants of working people.

Slowly but surely, the word got around. The customers knew there was something different about the Working Person’s Store; something special… it was the people. They actually cared about quality, about value, and about service. Not just lip service, but genuine, put the customer first; do the right thing, service.

Those first few years were a time of rapid growth, great learning and constant adaptation as the company added new product categories, including Carhartt clothing, and numerous footwear brands.  And the customers kept coming… By 1997, Working Person’s Store was taking shape as a retail contender.

In 1998, WPS began serving regional industrial customers at their place of business with its first Industrial Shoe Mobile.  And by 1999, Dennis asked his son Eric to join him in growing the business.

The year 2000 marked a turning point, as other business responsibilities took Dennis out of day to day management of the store and Eric stepped in to “lead the charge”.  With hard work and long hours, Eric and his dedicated staff continued to grow the business, and in 2001 broke the “million dollar” mark for the first time ever.

In 2002, Eric expanded Working Person’s Store into the electronic frontier with the opening of WorkingPerson.com.  Over the next two years, product lines grew; systems were added; television advertising was stepped up, and the business continued to grow.

By early 2005, Working Person’s Store had reached a crossroads. After a decade of growth and success, the winds of change were blowing ever harder.  A decision had to be made about which strategy would allow the company to continue to grow in its second decade.  Careful analysis led Eric and Dennis to conclude the most important long-term growth opportunity for Working Person’s Store was to expand its e-commerce operations, and to do so as quickly as possible.

In June 2005, Working Person’s Store joined forces with AVID Commerce, an experienced e-commerce consulting and investment firm in Buchanan, Michigan.  This combination strengthened the company’s ability to grow and prosper over the long term. This will allow us to better serve our customers here in Michiana, and all over the world.

And that’s why we’re here.  Providing our customers with great service is at the very core of Working Person’s Store’s cultural DNA.