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Shoe Dept. Encore opens in St. Lawrence Centre

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MASSENA - With more than 15,000 pairs of shoes, sneakers and boots in stock, the newly opened Shoe Dept. Encore store in St. Lawrence Centre can stake claim to being the largest shoe store in Northern New York, not just in St. Lawrence County.

St. Lawrence Centre Marketing Manager Ronald J. Patnode said the opening of its Encore store isn’t the first time Shoe Dept. has expanded within the mall.

“This is Shoe Dept.’s second expansion in our center, and we are very excited about it,” he said.

Mr. Patnode said he considers Northern New York to be in anything in or north of Watertown. And with no large shoe stores in Oswego County, St. Lawrence Centre can stake claim to housing the largest shoe store north of Syracuse.

Mr. Patnode said when he saw the store for the first time he was impressed.

“It’s a beautiful store,” he said. “As a shopper when you go in there you can right away pinpoint what you’re looking for.”

That was one of the things that stood out for Anthony Walden, Brushton.

“It’s easy to see everything,” he said. “Sometimes when you have the taller racks, it’s harder to see everything, like your size and such, but everything is right here.”

Mr. Patnode said the new store, which is located in the former Hackett’s space, is 12,162 square feet.

“They do have a small storage area, but 85 to 90 percent of that is retail space,” he said.

Krista DuWal of Cornwall, Ont., said she shops fairly regularly in Massena and was unaware that the Shoe Dept. was expanding.

“It’s quite a bit bigger than the other one was,” she said. “It looks really nice.”

Shoe Dept. Regional Manager Bill Hecker said they’re not the only ones who have been impressed.

“The feedback from customers has been great,” he said.

In addition to housing more than 15,000 items, the store also includes special men’s and children’s sections, where children and guys can hang out while their mom or significant other shops. A TV hanging on the wall in the children’s section was tuned into Nick Jr. on Monday with a television in the men’s section tuned into SportsCenter on ESPN.

Mr. Patnode said it’s his understanding that the store, which opened on Thursday, got off to a strong start.

“They had a sales goal for their first day and they doubled it,” he said.

Mr. Hecker said the sucess seen on the store’s opening day has continued.

“We’re up 50 percent each day since we opened on Thursday,” he said. “Business has been fantastic right out of the gate.”

Mr. Hecker said it’s his hope other retailers will see the investment his chain has put into the mall and follow suit.

“It’s good for the us, it’s good for the community and it’s good for the mall,” he said. “Hopefully, the can build off of this and more good things will happen.”

The store is part of the Shoe Show, Inc., chain of shoe stores and is one of 1,124 locations in 37 states. It will be open during regualr mall hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

According to a news release issued by the mall, Shoe Show, Inc., opened its first Shoe Dept. Encore store in 2008. The stores are designed to “cater to a broader range of customers by offering a wider variety of shoes and price points.”

“Shoe Dept. Encore carries popular-price brands as well as Eastland, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Hush Puppies, Life Stride, Rocky Boots, K Swiss, Reebok, Nike, Keds, New Balance and Hi-Tec,” the release stated.

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