Concord Mills Women’s Shoe Store Bucks Closing Trend

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(March 10, 2009) Concord, NC – Not all retail news is bad these days. Several new retailers, including Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse, are expected to open at Concord Mills in the next month.

Off Broadway will be located in the old Black Lion location. The shoe retailer has opened five new stores in the last two weeks.  It will open its Concord Mills location Wednesday with 40,000 pairs of shoes for sale and few part-time jobs still available, according to store manager Nate Feth.  “Everybody needs shoes,” said Feth, who had to turn curious shoppers away over the weekend as store employees worked furiously to finish stocking the shelves.

Jimmy Burbee, regional manager for Off Broadway stores in the Carolinas and Florida, said the shoe business is still doing well.  “Growth as far as openings has slowed down, but we’re still opening new stores,” Burbee said. “Our slowing down in growth is just more to take a cautious stance because of the economy.”  Off Broadway officials said they decided to open a new store at Concord Mills because it’s a great mall.  And while Concord Mills has lost some of its tenants to the economy, it’s still attracting tourists by the busload and filling its parking lots with eager shoppers, said general manager Ray Soporowski.  “I think we’re positive,” Soporowski said about the economy. “People are still coming so I think that’s the good thing.  “We have a nice mixture of tenants,” he said. “There’s something for everybody. People will buy clothing and things of that nature. As long as people are coming, that’s a good thing.”

In the last year, Concord Mills opened an Ann Taylor Factory Store. In the fourth quarter of 2008, the mall opened a Limited, Express and Aire. Papaya, a clothing store for 16- to 25-year-old women, will open at the old Kirkland’s location by early April PoPPyPia, another women’s clothing store, is scheduled to open in the old Liz Claiborne clothing store location by April 1 Spencer’s will move to a new larger location.  “There’s a lot of interest in the center and we try to keep it fresh,” Soporowski said. “The other thing you’ll see also is there are new designs to the storefronts. Originally when we bought the center, we designed the storefronts. Now we’re allowing them to customize the storefronts.”