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January 01, 2013

DSW to step up and open Rochester store

It's a shoe-in.

A popular national retailer is following its feet to the Med City with plans to open a new store here in the fall.

Look for DSW, also known as the Designer Shoe Warehouse, to stroll into this market in the fall, possibly by September. The shoe chain, based in Columbus, Ohio, is following in the footsteps … or maybe in the wake … of Old Navy.
Old navy
In November 2011, Old Navy sailed out of its 22,000-square-foot store at 50 25th St. S.E. between Bed Bath and Beyond and Michael's craft store. It moved farther south to a new spot nestled between Dick's Sporting Goods and Maurice's in the Shoppes on Maine retail cluster.

That left a big gap in the Broadway Commons shops area, and it stayed empty throughout 2012. Now, DSW has signed up to fill the "shoes" that Old Navy left behind.

"Our stores have had a huge positive reaction in Minnesota," says Christina Cheng, DSW's director of investor relations. "We are always looking for areas where we can expand our market share."

In the past few years, the retailer found a good fit with its "warehouse cool" style and its passionate approach to selling shoes. That has given DSW the traction it needed to rocket through its competitors from its 2004 spot as the No. 8 seller of adult footwear in the U.S. to No. 2 in 2011, right behind Macy's.

"We've been opening stores aggressively this year," Cheng says. "We opened 39 in 2012, and now we have 365. We're looking to open 25 to 30 more in 2013, one which will be in Rochester."

Of course, that means more retail jobs. DSW typically staffs its warehouse stores with 30 to 40 employees.

It will be interesting to see how DSW fits into the Rochester mix, which already has the big brands of Famous Footwear, Payless Shoe Source and Rogan's Shoes as well as well known local names such as O&B Shoe Stores, Danielle's Shoes and the recent addition TerraLoco.

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Any updates on this? I ahven't seen anything happening there yet.

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