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At Footwear Insight, we’ve been honoring the best of the best independent retailers with the Gold Medal Service Award for Outstanding Customer Service annually since 2015. In 2020, we took a pause because conducting our in-store mystery shop was not viable (or fair) during the height of COVID’s impact on everyone’s business. This year, it’s back to business, as we once again are honoring retailers across the nation. And in our eyes, the recipients of the 2022/23 Gold Medal Service Awards all deserve an extra gold star. Not only do they deliver outstanding service to the shoppers who visit their stores, they are also managing to do it in the midst of some current challenges that we couldn’t have predicted.

The 2022/23 Gold Medal Service Award winning retailers, each have unique stories and strategies, but they all share at least a few things in common — an understanding of and appreciation of customer service, and the ingenuity and dedication required to thrive in turbulent times.

Kudos to all the honorees.

The award selection process began earlier this year — after screening the nominations and “mystery shopping” the stores, 70 stores earned a score worthy of the Gold Medal honor in 2022/23.