|Industry||Design and manufacture of shoes and foot products|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Area served||United States|
|Key people||Robert S. Schwartz|
|Products||Ready-made shoes, custom shoes, foot products, custom orthotics|
|Revenue||US$ 8 million (2009)|
Eneslow (pronounced N-S-LOW, //) is a chain of shoe stores in New York City founded by the Low family in 1909. They are America’s largest pedorthic retailer. As well as its retail stores, Eneslow also manages the Eneslow Pedorthic Institute, a pedorthic education and training center at its Park Avenue headquarters.
Eneslow, originally known N.S. Low, was founded by Edward and Nellie Stone Low in 1909, selling trusses and surgical products on Avenue A. In 1914, Nat Low joined Edward Low, and the business was incorporated. The shoe department was introduced in 1926 in the midst of America’s infantile paralysis epidemic when braces and splints were a common remedy. The shoe department introduction had been possible because Sol joined Eneslow. The same year, Eneslow moved to 220 East 23rd Street.
By the 1940s, the company had attracted the attention of Paul Schwartz, who owned the wholesale business Apex Foot Health Industries, which sold foot products, particularly orthotics and arch supports. As a wholeseller, he sold his products to Eneslow.
In 1968, Paul and Charles Schwartz bought the company and moved its headquarters to 695 6th Avenue. At that time, Eneslow has two other locations, one in Brooklyn since 1949 and one in the Bronx since 1937.
In 1973, Robert S. Schwartz (the President and CEO) joined Eneslow after a 10-year career in sales and marketing.
In 1975, Robert S. Schwartz and his brother Richard B. Schwartz, each owned 50 percent of Eneslow and Apex. By the mid-1980s, when he and his brother, Richard, split the company he became the sole owner of the retail division and turned Eneslow into a regional chain with eight stores. But when New York State slashed Medicaid reimbursements for medical shoes and orthotics, the company lost 50 percent of its business and Schwartz shut all but his flagship store located at 924 Broadway, NYC.
In 1983, the two businesses – Eneslow and Apex – were split; Robert S. Schwartz bought out Richard B. Schwartz to get full ownership. In 1985, Eneslow bought Classic Mold Shoe Company, makers of custom molded and custom orthopedic dress shoes and sandals and merged it into the company. In 1995, Eneslow Pedorthic Institute (EPI) was founded.
In 2003, the company bought a retail store from Selby Fifth Avenue at Horace Harding Expressway in Little Neck, Queens; changed its name to Eneslow and opens its second store. In 2006, the company moves its long-time Broadway headquarters location to Park Avenue South at 32nd Street. In 2009 Eneslow opened a third store on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on Second Avenue between 78th and 79th streets.
Eneslow’s headquarters has been located at 470 Park Avenue South at 32nd Street since 2006. The premises include the company’s biggest store, the Eneslow Pedorthic Institute (EPI) classroom, and a custom shoe department. Eneslow also owns premises on the Upper East Side and in Little Neck.
The Eneslow Pedorthic Institute (EPI)
The Eneslow Pedorthic Institute was founded in 1995 by Eneslow and its President & CEO Robert S. Schwartz for the design, manufacture, modification, and proper fit of shoes and foot orthoses. EPI hosts pedorthic courses, conventions and seminars.
The institute trains pedorthists, drawing students from around the world. In addition to pre-certification courses, it offers reviews for the pre-certification exam and teaches certified shoe-fitter courses. Podiatry students and orthopedic surgeons have attended the institute.
The classes, which are accredited by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC) and the Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC), as pedorthic pre-certification courses, are taught by Eneslow Medical Director Justin Wernick, Eneslow President Robert S. Schwartz, Eneslow staff and pedorthists, podiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, endocrinologists, shoe designers and diabetes educators.
Custom department and shoe modification
The Eneslow Custom Department is a place where shoes can undergo modifications and repair. Structural and cosmetic modifications are done to all kinds of shoes; orthotics are fabricated as well.
Eneslow’s main factory is located at 470 Park Avenue @ 32nd Street flagship store; the other stores have their own shops for minor work.
Eneslow is a supporter of the charity Soles4Souls. Eneslow also provides free footwear, socks, and insoles for relief workers, disaster victims, and the homeless.