New Balance Tyler, an independently owned New Balance athletic brand store, is open for business on Old Jacksonville Highway.
“We specifically chose the Swann Plaza location because of the new growth in the area,” she said.
Her father, Ralph Parks, 66, is the main owner in the family business. He has worked in the athletic shoe industry since he was about 18, and after serving as chief executive officer for a large athletic retailer, he retired. But he was soon approached by New Balance to open stores, and the family members all came on board, Mrs. Liberis said, adding that they have had stores in the Dallas area for 10 years.
Mrs. Liberis, 39, handles the advertising for the family business, while her husband, James Liberis, 39, serves as its vice president/chief financial officer, manages the Frisco store and oversees other stores in the company.
Mrs. Liberis worked for an advertising agency, and Liberis worked as a financial analyst for a real estate company before they joined her father’s business. They have been married for 15 years.
“Every family member does their share,” Liberis said.
Parks has other family members who help him run the business. They include his son-in-law, Gregory Mulkey, a vice president who manages the Fort Worth store; and his daughter, LeAnne Landers, who does training, medical marketing and works in the office and stores.
She said they sell only New Balance brand shoes and brands within the New Balance family, such as Dunham for men and Aravon and Cobb Hill for women. The store offers primarily athletic shows — for running, walking, tennis and other sports — as well as dressier shoes for men and women.
“We’re serving this customer basically in any of their footwear needs now,” Liberis said.
He said 75 percent of the shoes their store sells were made in the United States, and they carry more mid-to-higher-end shoes than New Balance brands found in non New Balance stores.
New Balance provides professional fit service by measuring and assessing each foot and providing appropriate footwear for each customer’s unique needs. Mrs. Liberis said they carry width sizing, from narrow to extra wide shoe sizes, for children and adults.
New Balance started in 1906 as an arch support company, and the shoes all include insoles that can be removed to slide in arch support pieces, Mrs. Liberis said.
Liberis said they help assess customers’ feet “to get them in the best shoe … versus selling them a shoe off the wall.” He said about 90 percent of the customers who come into a New Balance store for the first time are wearing the wrong shoe size. Every style of shoe fits differently, he added.
New Balance, based in Boston, has 166 independently owned stores.
The Tyler store, in front of Swann’s Furniture, is still hiring employees but will probably end up with five or six workers, Mrs. Liberis said.