WINC Choice Award Winner 2017: Wilkinson's Mall

Where do shoppers flock to find the most fabulous shoes in Arkansas? Wilkinson’s Mall, of course!
Wilkinson’s Mall, a mainstay in footwear in Conway, began as a wholesale shoe company in 1968. Founded by Bill and Jean Wilkinson, the thriving wholesale business became a retail store in 1987. Today, Wilkinson’s Mall is Arkansas’ largest shoe and boot store. The business thrived and ushered in a new era that not only offers a wide variety of shoes, but also clothing and accessories. Natalie Rose, one of the Wilkinson’s grandchildren, benefitted greatly from growing up in the family business.
“I have been working in our family business since I was 12 years old! I really don’t know anything different. I’m blessed to work with people I love, care about and look up to. We all understand that we are in this together and are working toward a common goal,” she said. “I was fortunate to work with my grandmother, Wilkie, for 27 years. Wilkie, my dad, and my aunt, Jenny, laid the foundation for our store to become the regional shopping destination we are today.”
After almost 50 years, Wilkinson’s Mall has maintained traditions, adopted current trends, and remains the gold standard in customer service. Wilkinson’s continues to adapt to meet each customer’s needs with a level of customer service that is unmatched. Old school values are still very important, includ- ing complimentary gift wrap and establishing personal connections with customers. “We are very fortunate to have a strong customer base that appreciates a family-owned business, great customer service and personal relationships. Without our customers, we would not be where we are today,” Natalie said.
Staying on-trend is also a top priority. “My favorite brands at the moment are Sorel and Dansko. These brands offer the cushioning and arch support I need. Plus, they are super cute. I can run around this store all day in these brands, and my feet never hurt!” Natalie said. “Athleisure is still really big. People are a little more casual now, so sneakers are being worn with just about anything. Block heels are on-point for dressier looks or even to pair with jeans. Ankle boots seem to be a customer favorite.”
Shantay Bobo, part of the management team at Wilkinson’s Mall, also stays on top of the latest trends to provide personal styling to anyone who walks through the door. “I love the rich colors and textures in the clothing and booties that are offered this season. From crushed velvet to soft suedes, the fall styles are Natalie credits much of the success of the business to the employees. With approxi- mately 50 employees, she considers her family blessed to employ individuals with strong work ethics and positive, caring attitudes. “I think our customer service is what sets us apart from other retail businesses. Also, our management team works here every day so we can stay on top of what will keep us here another 50 years,” Natalie said.
Natalie also credits her devoted manage- ment team as integral to the success of Wilkinson’s Mall.
Sue Hunter, longtime employee and part of the management team, explains what being a part of the Wilkinson’s Mall family means to her. “I’ve worked for Wilkinson’s Mall for 23 years. Wilkinson’s is a family-owned company, and they treat me like family. Time flies when you’re having fun, and a day at work is fun for me!” she said.
Shantay Bobo echoes Sue’s sentiment. “With over 20 years of retail experience working at various stores, I love working at Wilkinson’s because serving the customer is the most important part of my job. There is such a positive energy that radiates throughout the entire store.”
Lisa Hegeman, a long-time shopper, describes why Wilkinson’s Mall was voted the place to find the most fabulous shoes. “I’ve shopped at Wilkinson’s Mall for many years. I like shopping locally, and they are a great local shop that always has a great selection of shoes, clothing, jewelry and accessories. I especially love all the ladies that work there. They are always eager to help you and make you feel right at home.”