It all started back in 1983 when Ed Killeen wanted to supply basketball sneakers to the local high schools. So, we started the Sneaker Advantage in a little nook of the original Stereo Advantage at 5687 Main St in the Village of Williamsville [where we sold thousands of our first big hit, the Tretorn Nylites]. From there, it has been an amazing journey. The Sneaker Advantage gave birth to the Forrestel Clothing Co, the Aussie T Co, over 90 Aussie Outfitters nationally, and in 1994 [at the new Walker Center], Tony Walker & Co.
Over the past several years, Tony Walker & Co has proved to be an extraordinary foundation for iWorldFundraising.org and as a launching pad for the Advantage Brands Group’s remarkable lineup of international brands, starting with Bogavia. Following the success of Bogavia, the Advantage Brands Group has created an incredible lineup of internationally acclaimed new brands and companies [e.g. Lab to Beauty, Pure+Fresh, King Finley, Katini Skin, Cocoa by CeCe, GRW For Hair, Scotch Boots of Holland, Modern Luxuri, Grivani, and Le Cleanse Officiel] with several more currently in production.
Today, building an international network of accounts and e-commerce presence for all of our Advantage Brands is our main pursuit - and it requires our full attention. Recently, we auspiciously launched Lab to Beauty in Asia with the luxury retailer Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and our owns sis. flagship store on Tmall, while over in Europe, we opened Lab to Beauty with Douglas in Germany [with the Netherlands and Spain to follow soon]. Lab to Beauty will also be opening soon in luxury retailers Illum of Copenhagen, Neiman Marcus, and Rinascente of Milan ... and we are just getting started.
Unfortunately, this all leaves little time for the iconic Tony Walker & Co store. Consequently, the brick and mortar retail era of Tony Walker & Co is coming to a close on Friday, May 29, 2021. We will, however, be launching a new e-commerce presence on Shopify, allowing a new iteration of TW&Co to continue to thrive internationally.
We would like to thank everyone who has made our retail experience in WNY for over 40 years so rewarding. And a special thanks to the thousands of kids who had their first job at TW&Co [many of whom have gone on to remarkable success - making us even more proud of the impact TW&Co has had on WNY]. Along the way, we have also built an incredible partnership with Children’s Hospital, and our commitment to supporting and building with them nationally will continue through iWorldFundraising.org.
Our TW&Co Gift Cards and all credits will be honored at the TW&Co store until May 29, 2021, and beyond that both online at TonyWalker.com and at Giancarlo’s Sicilian Steakhouse & Pizzeria. If you have any questions, please contact Juliana@TonyWalker.com.
In addition to our current lineup of outstanding tenants, the Walker Center will now be home to the new Advantage Brands Group HQ and Distribution Center, as well as the new HQ for Panther Data Solutions, Unified Global Archiving, Zovy Cloud, Data Detect, Advantage Legal & Fiduciary, Advantage Global Resources, Mode for Him, Black Progress Matters, Beacon Vigilance, AIDO, and other new tenants. We are excited about all that the future holds, and we remain fortunate to have Western New York as our home and the Walker Center our headquarters. Be big, be a builder.
- Tony Walker