Portland >Clothing >
Shoes >Imelda's Shoes
3426 SW Hawthorne, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.511969 -122.629064
Neighborhoods: Richmond, Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program
Imelda's is overwhelming--to the shoe-loving mind, to the shoe-loving feet, to the shoe-loving budget, because there are simply too many cute desirable fashionable shoes in one place, which is exactly the opposite of how the Portland dating scene works. It's nice that all the shoe boxes are stacked under the display pair so you can see if they have your size at a glance and not have to endure the agonizing pause when the staff person has to check, but they don't really like you rifling through the boxes, so ask for help.
I live a block away, love to support local business and will not shop at Imelda's! – I have shopped at Imelda's in the past. Of the 5 pair of shoes I have bought there only one was comfortable enough to continue wearing. Really, I bought two different pairs of boots there and they were killers. I sold them to Buffalo Exchange after two wearings. I've had the same experience as others have with young sales women looking me up and down and snickering. Shopping here is worse than going back to junior high. The sales women stand around, look bored, and when asked for help, give a great big sigh like its such a big chore to do their job. The other weird thing is that my husband bought a couple of pairs of shoes there in the past year. A couple of months later, he got a hand written note from the sales woman who helped him in the store. It went on to thank him for shopping and mentioned a couple of times how "cute" he looked in the shoes he bought in the store and hoped that he would be back. It was signed with the woman's name. He did not sign up for any mailing list so we both found it strange that it was sent to our home address. I am willing to pay more for products that I do not have to drive to buy. While I live a block away from Imelda's, I will not shop there!
anyone who complains about imelda's obviously only drinks starbucks. – Imelda's is a mom and pop store. If you want to shop at a store that pays their employees slave wages and bases its clientelle on suburbanites, then go right ahead. In fact, if you want to complain about a portland based mom and pop, then why don't you just shop at DSW. Gross. Imelda's has great shoes that go on sale down to bare bones nothing. I would rather portland not become new york city, wherin everything is big box because the mom and pops can't afford the lease. So calm down and go buy your shoes at target if you want a lenient return policy. Suburbanite.
Never buy your shoes here! – I bought $224.00 boots, the most I have ever spent on shoes. It took some convincing and the sales person assured me it was an investment and they would last a long time, never telling me they were deer skin and fragile... even after prompting care instructions. I wore them for 4 hours to study and go to the store and I look down and they have knicks in the leather. I didn't fall, trip, or anything. So I call that day and the sales rep tells me to come in the next day when the owner is there. Well that is when I met the cold lady. No returns, it was my fault with the way I walk, an unfortunate accident she called it. I spent an 1/2 hour arguing. She told me she was a small local store and couldn't absorb the cost of the shoes like Nordtstrom or REI. Well, I get that but if those are her competition she needs to change something. SHe was so rude about it. Never go here, the sales reps aren't knowledgeable about the shoes and the owner is awful.
My Attention-Getting Shoes! – As someone who values terrific customer service, I fail to understand two things about Portlanders: Why in the world anyone would argue to make full-service gas stations self-serve (as if standing in the rain dripping gasoline upon my toes is a pleasure)....and why these crazy reviewers are complaining about letting the Imelda's staff help them find and try on shoes!?! I cannot be the only person who believes that describing my taste to an informed sales associate, and letting her present her wares is supremely preferable to rummaging through collapsible stacks on my own. My repeated experiences at Imelda's have been the height of fun and civility: Doting service, playful banter, and cool selections. Last time I was in, a whole gaggle of salesfolk and more than a few customers all got involved in my purchasing decisions re: footwear and jewelry, as did I in theirs. Not only did I not feel pressured, but an associate actually talked me DOWN from a purchase....pointing out that I could check out my wardrobe once home and come back for the shoes later if I was sure that they would really work with the outfit I had in mind. (Oh yeah....I went back. Couldn't resist. Bought more earrings, too.) Out on the town later that weekend, four men in one night came up to me and commented on how much they liked my shoes!! (No kidding. Imelda's-as-pick-up-line....imagine that, ladies!) As for the oft-maligned return policy....frankly, I'm grateful they're not recycling shoes someone else wore for a while and trying to resell them later to me. In addition, the prominently-posted policy is the hippest, frankest, funniest bit of business writing I've ever read. So read it--for the laugh, but also with the intention of honoring it if you plan to sign your name to it. (The number of you attempting to renege on policies you signed makes me cringe! Where are your scruples?!?) Then relax, quit complaining, and get out there on the town in those racy shoes!!
I'll be in again...soon!! – Being genetically predisposed to loving shoes, I am always on the hunt for the next great pair. I just found the next couple of great pairs all at Imelda's! I hadn't been there in awhile, but really ladies (and guys), I had fun! The staff were available, smart, fun (a.k.a. not pushy) and ready and willing to help me out (I literally tried on a TON of shoes) and made my shopping experience one of the most enjoyable I've had in a while. Their selection of fall goodies is nearly irresistable and I left with a new pair of boots that I can't wait to sport this winter, and a hat to match. And really, all this nonsense about the return policy? Know it, sign it, done. Not that hard...I'll definately be back soon, with a gaggle of girlfriends to boot!
Great Selection – I have faced a lifetime of embarrassment, no thanks to my genetics. My size 10 feet cause me to ask time after time in a sheepish tone "Do these happen to come in a size...gasp!..10? Possibly even 11, cause they look a little narrow at the toe..." The answer was rarely in my favor. While the frequency of a "yes" response has increased over the years, it still strikes fear in my heart every time I face the dreaded question. This is why it was a pleasant surprise when I walked into Imelda's for the first time. All of the boxes, sizes in plain sight, are out on the showroom floor. Rows of shoes with the answer right before my eyes!! While success is still not 100%, I now know straightaway if my particular fave shoe discovery is worth further exploration. I have found my safe haven. Thank you, Imelda's
they won't give you the time of day – reprehensible return policy, snotty salespeople-- they need to get over themselves. there are lots of cool shoe stores in town, and imelda's is not one of them. oh yeah, the owner's a viper.
How to self-actualize your business 101 – As a resident of the immediate Hawthorne area and a local business operator myself for over twenty-three years, I find it almost unconscionable to support anything other than that; with an exception being Imelda's & Louie's. Never had I seen so much turnover in all my life and lack of product knowledge amongst a "well-established" owner of a shop who has been in business over a decade. I find myself leaving with more questions than when I arrived, mostly how one can consistently produce a living off of selling Walmart quality products in cognito with the exception of a good 10% wavering.
I often visit to humor myself with the lack of improvement over the years while the owner continually makes snide, unnecessary remarks to her week-long employees. As a fellow business owner I would suggest that this company's hierarchy invest in some management and humanitarian courses to establish a more people-friendly working and shopping environment, but again; I wouldn't hold my breath.
Will NOT support this business any longer! – After shopping at this business for a few years I've noticed how bad it really is. I have had good and bad experiences. I always try to give the benefit of the doubt and see if things get better. I do not understand a business that cannot keep the same employees and therefore create good customer service. Call me "old fashioned" in that fact that I like shopping at the same places and seeing the same faces. Sure there might be a select few good employees throughout, but I began to question the way they treat them. I've witnessed on many an occasion the way that this one lady who is about the same age as me, whom I can only assume is the boss or owner, negatively talks to/treats her employees. I recently was shopping here and was doing just fine with one of the younger employees when she suddenly storms out from the back, talks to one of the employees by the register and on her way to the back decides to rudely butt in with the "transaction" between the nice younger employee and myself. I must say that it wasn't a pleasant thing. I've also heard customer bashing, so-to-speak, coming through the door while trying shoes on towards the back of the store. Shopping in other shoe stores and casually mentioning Imelda's brings up all kinds of interesting negative experiences or negative facts about the owner. I didn't realize how much negativity surrounded this business. I've come to the conclusion that I cannot disregard my personal morals in supporting this because of their good selection of shoes.(which in my opinion have been sorely lacking in taste these last few years) Basically, I've decided NOT to support a small business, local or not, who chooses to bully its employees and bash customers.
Sadly, I don't think I'll ever be shopping here again. – I purchased a pair of shoes here at full price on a weekend trip to Portland. After I got back home, I wore them about 3-4x before noticing that they had completely worn through the heel and part of the leather on the back of the heel! I've never had shoes wear out that quickly before in my life, and I was irritated because they were allegedly good-quality shoes with a high price tag.
I called Imelda's to let them know and to see if there was any way they could fix them, or exchange them for a new pair which I'd take to a cobbler to have them preemptively put some kind of protection on there. The clerk I talked to was helpful and friendly, and assured me that all their vendors guaranteed their shoes for a year. She asked me to ship the shoes down to her so she could exchange them for a new pair. I asked if she didn't want me to send digital pictures first, just to make sure there would be no problem making this exchange, but she said from my description that it should be no problem to make the switch.
So I went ahead and took the time and spent the money to have them UPSed down to her. A few days later I got a call saying they had their in-store cobbler look at them, and they said the shoes were "too worn" to make the exchange. I explained that that was kind of my point - the shoes had worn out that much in just a few wearings - and she said that I could try taking these to a cobbler and having them patched. So I asked if they couldn't just go ahead and have that done by the same in-store cobbler, since they apparently weren't making the exchange we'd agreed on. In a word, no. So I spent time and money sending them down there, only to have them sent back to me, still damaged.
I can understand where they're coming from, but this whole transaction was such a pain for me and I felt very deceived - it soured me on ever shopping there again.
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