Vanderbilt’s is a family owned and operated retail chain that began as a smaller version of a Ben Franklin discount department store, where David Vanderbilt first learned the ins-and-outs of buying, selling and marketing. In 1973, David and his wife Jan opened their first storefront on the main street of Wamego and sold things from Jell-o molds, health and beauty-aids, crafts and snacks. They were always trying to fit the needs of the people in the area.
“It wasn’t long before customers would ask why they didn’t carry boots or jeans,” David says. “We bought small lots and they sold well. Kansas has real western roots so when the ‘Urban Cowboy’ movie came along in 1979, the fashion lemmings expanded the market we were already growing.”
David and Jan Vanderbilt say the key to their success has always been listening to their customers. Over the years, Vanderbilt’s grew from their flagship store in Wamego to 9 family-owned stores throughout Kansas.
David and Jan’s two sons, Thomas and Andrew Vanderbilt, oversee the operation now with Thomas being the managing partner of 5 stores and Andrew the managing partner of the other 4 stores.
This discount boot and jean outfitter is the largest of its kind in the state of Kansas and is best known for it’s unending rows of work boots and jeans at the lowest possible prices. “Brands and products that we carry have changed over the years, but the same low discount prices and loyal customer service have always been our top priority,” says Andrew Vanderbilt. So many big box retailers may be able to get a product at a cheap price, but they’re lacking in quality, value and customer service that people are longing for. People matter to us, and they’re not just a number. We hope that is what sets us apart as a family-owned business.”
It’s an easy choice for people shopping for boots. Vanderbilt’s has the largest in-stock selection and a low price guarantee on any in-stock boot they carry. They also offer customer service in stores to measure your foot to ensure the best possible fit. As their jingle touts, “your work boot center. Vanderbilt’s.” Shop at a store nearest you.