Herbert and Edwin Sherman founded Sherman Brothers Inc.
in 1953 with a $5000.00 loan from their father Benjamin. The
brothers began selling cancellation footwear from a small narrow
store on Mole Street
in center city Philadelphia. The brothers would remove the rear
seat from their Desoto before driving 7 hours to visit the ubiquitous
shoe factories that existed in New England in the 1950's.
They would return with the back of their car filled with closeout
shoes from factories such as E.T.Wright, Footjoy (Brockton Footwear)
Bates, Alden and Walkover. By purchasing cancellation and discontinued
styles, the brothers found that many of the leftover styles at
the factories were hard to fit sizes including A and AA widths
and lengths that were as small as size 5-6 or long as 14-15.
Eventually Sherman Brothers on Mole street became
the "go to" store for men with hard to fit sizes.
When Herb and Ed's younger brother Martin turned twelve years old,
he began helping at the store. First he cleaned the store and stocked
shelves. Eventually he began selling on the sales floor. And finally
became the third "Sherman Brother"! Bruce
Rubin also began his career at Sherman Brothers working as a stock boy
while going to high school. Eventually he too began selling and showed
an interest in management.
In the 1960's Sherman Brothers gained the reputation as Philadelphia's
finest men's shoe store. With up to 7 sales men on the sales floor,
the store was SRO during lunch hours on weekdays. Their clientele included
Mayors, councilmen, State Representatives athletes and entertainers.
In 1972 Sherman Brothers opened their first branch store in Quakertown,
PA. A 3rd store followed 10 years later in Rosemont PA.
During the late 70's, Herb's middle son Kenneth and Martin's
oldest son Jeffrey joined the firm. It was their goal to learn the business
from the ground up. Each had worked at other shoe stores while attending
college. They, along with the companies' other salesmen, made annual
trips to the shoe factories in New England and got first hand experience
on how shoes were made.
By 1985 Jeffrey's younger brother Michael joined the team. Shermanbrothers.com was
launched in January 2002. The company sold a total of 5 pairs of shoes
online during that month. Today, the online store accounts for thousands
of pairs each year!