Carrie Rengers

Boot Barn gives its Wichita photo department the boot

Boot Barn entered the Wichita market with its acquisition of Texas-based Sheplers in 2015. It kept a photo department here for catalog shoots, but the company has now moved it to California, where it is based.
Boot Barn entered the Wichita market with its acquisition of Texas-based Sheplers in 2015. It kept a photo department here for catalog shoots, but the company has now moved it to California, where it is based. File photo

UPDATED — California-based Boot Barn has given the boot to its photo department in Wichita, which was the longtime department responsible for so many of the photos in the former Sheplers catalogs.

Boot Barn acquired the Texas-based Sheplers and its 25 stores in 2015.

"As part of our strategic consolidation of our marketing and imaging teams to our Store Support Center in California, we have moved the photo studio from Wichita to California," read an e-mail from Jim Watkins, vice president of investor relations and external reporting. "There are 7 professionals in Wichita who are impacted by this move."

The Sheplers chain began when J.W. Gibson opened Gibson Harness Co. in what the Sheplers website called “a modest storefront in Wichita, Kansas,” in 1899.

Then in 1946, Harry Shepler carried a brown paper bag with $25,000 down Wichita’s Main Street to buy the business. At the time, the store, which was where the Sedgwick County Courthouse is now, sold harnesses and tack. Shepler called it Harry Sheplers Saddle and Leather Co.

In 1961, Shepler built a 10,000-square-foot store at 6501 W. Kellogg, which is where it still is today under the Boot Barn name.

The company also has a 90,000-square-foot online fulfillment center and a 30,000-square-foot office next to the store where its customer service center is.

Watkins says those centers "will not be impacted."

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.
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