In Search of the Perfect Shoe
“We have a very loyal Denver and Colorado Springs following,” says Vella Fritts, who along with Kelly Cays, share management of the Broadmoor store. The intimate step-down boutique is well-located, just a few feet from The Broadmoor’s main lobby, making it a convenient destination for the hotel’s 300,000 annual guests. Display space may be limited, but selection is not.
Many of the store’s clients fall in love with Yarid’s during visits to The Broadmoor or while in West Virginia where the third generation retailer operates four more stores.
Regardless of geography, clients throughout the country have come to depend on its many personalized services and store-to-store or home shipping.
One Glenwood Springs family, for example, checks into the hotel around the holidays. Dad, mom and the kids all stock up. For men, there are Cole-Haan, Donald Pliner and more casual Merrill styles to choose from. The kids like Lily Kelly, Ugg and Tom’s.
“I just don’t think they have anything like Yarid’s close – and Denver really doesn’t either,” Vella says, adding that Nordstrom recently stopped carrying narrow widths, leaving many well-heeled customers frustrated.
“A lot of Denver people will drive down or call us. We contact the manufacturer for them to find the widths or styles they want,” she says.
Several loyal Texas guests stay at The Broadmoor during high season and make regular stops to stock up. Many follow Yarid’s Facebook updates and previews. The site allows customers from Chicago to L.A. or New York to check in and place store orders.
“Could you post pics of your Sesto Meucci collection?” queries one out-of-state Facebooker.
From jeweled evening sandals to classic Ferragamos, Giuseppe Zanottis, and Superga to classic Western riding boots, the store caters to a wide range of sophisticated, world-traveled buyers. After a fall stay at The Broadmoor, for example, customers may head out on a December Mediterranean cruise. Where else can one find blingy flip-flops or walking sandals off-season?
So how and where did the Yarid’s retail legacy originate?
Third-generation family co-owners Emilie Couch and Katherine Juker grew up with the family business. Their grandfather Samuel Yarid came to America from Lebanon to build his life and fortune. He opened his first store in 1918 – the same year that The Broadmoor’s founder Spencer Penrose began construction on the hotel. Samuel and his children built a reputation as a respected retailer of fine apparel and accessories throughout West Virginia. Today Yarid’s stores can be found at The Greenbrier Hotel as well as in Lewisburg and Charleston, West Virginia and in Roanoke, Va.
The Broadmoor store opened in 1999. Emilie Couch says both she and her sister hand-select each years’ styles.
That’s helped differentiate Yarid’s from department store or mass-produced brands. Fritts and Cays say the Broadmoor store benefits from the sisters’ East Coast contacts and fashion-forward trends – and are proud that many Red Carpet celebrities wear their high fashion footwear.
“Here in Colorado, we can be a little behind fashion-wise,” says Vella. “Emilie and Katherine give us access to very exclusive manufacturers and the latest looks. To our customers in Denver and Colorado Springs, that’s very important.”