What has become an ironic catch-phrase, courtesy of the two "Anchorman" movies starring Will Ferrell, is an apt recommendation for businesses. And it holds true whether you are at the top of the heap or mired in struggle.
When times are good, the absence of classiness smacks of arrogance. In tough times, if you don't stay classy, then you are liable to come across as whiny or defensive.
The presence of a classy outlook fairly describes the gracious manner with which one longtime business owner, Tim Eggert, is closing up shop after 37 years in business at a Downtown Oak Park location. Along with his wife Tyna, Tim opened The Competitive Foot in Western Springs in 1974, then came to Oak Park three years later.
The business has long billed itself as the first athletic shoe store in Illinois.
The Western Springs site, at 814 Hillgrove Ave., closed in July 2013, setting the stage for the recent announcement that the Oak Park shop will close its doors for good on July 20th. In conjunction with that news, employees on June 23rd taped a giant hand-written note in a window of the shop at 102 N. Marion St., at the corner of Marion Street and North Boulevard.
The greeting is a kind of "love note" to customers who have supported the business over the years. The note is a well-balanced blend of humility (over customers' support) and pride (in providing quality shoes and service):
"We have been proud to serve as your local athletic shore store for these many years. For 40 years, Competitive Foot has strived to fit you and your family in quality footwear. We thank you for shopping locally, for returning time and again, for sending your friends, and for your patience while you waited for orders. We know you had a choice–we are glad you chose us! Our doors will close for the final time July 20th. Tim will retire, but we hope you….KEEP RUNNING! -Tim & the C Foot Staff”
Now that's classy.
To track information and promotions at the shop until its July 20th closure, visit The Competitive Foot’s Facebook page.