Wilderness Workshop is a completely different animal than the Tannery upstairs. I can't comment on who owns it, but the dude who runs it (jason) is a class act and everyone who works there has been nothing but friendly and helpful.
Contrast that with upstairs where it's high pressure sales by dudes who really aren't well informed on what they're selling.
I had one guy tell me he owns every Alden model that the store carries, but was flummoxed when I asked him which Alden last fit his foot the best.
Another time a different du asked if my whiskey bluchers were made by Stacy Adams.
Wilderness Workshop, thanks for that. The guys down there are all very helpful and it's a fun place to look around.
I think if the guys at the Tannery walked over to Charles St. to team up with the idiots at NRO, we'd reach a critical mass of stupidity. Earth might just cease to exist.
Maybe it depends on which sleezoid salesperson you talk to, but the last time I popped into the Tannery I got a wild hair and asked if they'd give me a discount if I purchased 3 pairs of Aldens. The guy said he wished he could help, but they stopped doing that. This was about a year and a half ago. Realistically, they have to do great in both their locations given all the tourist traffic, so why haggle with goons like me.
I feel dirty after being approached by their salesmen. I always got the feeling that they simply order Alden from shoemart or something. They've never had any sizes.
The Tannery was where I came across Alden for the first time ca. 1995. I was a year out of college and had just moved to Boston. It was the lower Boylston location and I asked about a pair of PTB's (in #8 shell, though I didn't know what that meant at the time). the SA told me they were orthopedic shoes (and didn't have my size). I ended up buying a pair of burgundy Sebago bluchers.
Fast forward almost 20 yrs and they are still a bunch of clowns...with a bigger store.