FSW Shoe Warehouse is a third generation footwear business which
started in 1927 with two brothers Tom and Jo Frawley who ventured
from the big smoke of Sydney loaded with a truck full of shoes to a
little country town called Queanbeyan just outside of Canberra ACT.
Canberra having been declared the Capital was growing, and Tom and
Jo thought they would see if they could sell some shoes and make a
mark on footwear retail. They successfully sold all their shoes
from the back of their truck and a new era in Australian footwear
Several years later two of Tom Frawley's sons John and Ted
Frawley started to work in the business and learn the ropes.
Twenty-five years later John and Ted took over the business and
this saw Frawley Bros grow into the second generation of footwear
retail in Canberra ACT.
John and Ted employed all their children in the business over
the years but three sons Gerard, Stephen and Michael (better known
as 'The Boys') had a vision and a shoe box full of enthusiasm for
the family business!
In 2000 'The Boys' took the reins and started the third
generation of the family business. After years of great training
from their fathers and a sound knowledge of footwear retailing in
Australia, 'The Boys' identified an opportunity to deliver to the
shoppers of the ACT and surrounding areas a distinctive retail
concept that would allow customers to browse, feel and try on at
their leisure, quality footwear at a discounted price. As this was
a new form of retail they also changed the name of the business
from Frawley's Shoes to FSW.
We often get asked: What does FSW stand for? Maybe it
is Frawley Shoe Warehouse, or maybe it is Footwear Shoe
Warehouse...or to some we could also be Fashion Shoe Warehouse!
The first FSW Shoe Warehouse store opened in September 2002, and
just like their grandfathers, the first store opened in Queanbeyan
where the original business started 74 years earlier! The concept
of FSW was to offer their customer base quality footwear and
recognised brands at everyday discounted prices. It soon became
apparent that the FSW concept was a hit with consumers in the ACT
and four more stores in ACT were opened.
In 2004 'The Boys' took a risk and thought they would try the
FSW Shoe Warehouse concept in regional NSW. This saw the start of
another new beginning for the business, with the introduction of a
fourth director, Paul Smith, who had years of footwear retail
experience in Regional NSW.
From 2004 to 2009, FSW Shoe Warehouse opened another 8 stores
across regional NSW, and now employs over 100 employees.
2010 marked a busy year for FSW Shoe Warehouse with the opening
of two new stores - Canberra City, and our FSW 'Super Store' in
Alexandria (Sydney) which is Australia's largest independent shoe
retailer under one roof! We also launched the FSW Shoes website,
where our customers are now able to buy a growing range of our
fantastic shoes online.
Who would have thought that in 85 years the Frawley family could
go from selling shoes from the back of a truck to 13 stores and the
virtual world of buying online!