After 20 years on south Frederica Street, Shoe Stop will move north to Wesleyan Park Plaza in late summer, solidifying its place in a shopping center full of local businesses.
Shoe Stop will relocate to 18,000 square feet of the former Kmart building, closest to what was once Pet Food Center. David Hocker and Associates (DHA) own and manage Wesleyan Park Plaza and have been working with Shoe Stop owner Mark Shively on the relocation.
Renovations of the outside facade of Wesleyan Park Plaza, from the former Kmart to the former Pet Food Center, will begin in the next 60 days, according to DHA Principal Philip Purdom.
Shively said DHA plans to relaunch the shopping center with the grand opening of Shoe Stop.
“This was the last wing of that center that needs this facelift,” Shively said, noting that Kroger and McDonald’s both completed recent renovations.
And Shoe Stop may not be the only store to be a part of that relaunch. Purdom told Owensboro Times that DHA is working with another potential tenant for 30,000 square feet of space in the Kmart building and 80,000 square feet is still open for a third tenant, as well as the former Pet Food Center space.
“We have the best local stores and best grocery store in the market at Wesleyan Park Plaza,” Purdom said. “Shoe Stop will be a good fit. We are pleased they picked us.”
Shively said the Wesleyan Park Plaza tenant mix is a much better fit for his store than his current location in Towne Square North. He believes his store will sit well among a long line of other locally owned, successful businesses.
To get a feel for what his customers would think of a move, Shively surveyed customers over a weekend last year, asking if they would prefer Shoe Stop to move to Highway 54 or remain in the Frederica area. Two-thirds answered the latter.
Confident he chose the right location, Shively is now focusing on how he can make his store the best for his customers. Shoe Stop currently has 12,000 square feet of sales floor, but will be gaining 6,000 square feet at its new location.
According to Shively, that 50 percent larger space will allow him to expand his product lines. The extra space will also mean that shoes do not have to be stacked as high, Shively said, which will make for a brighter store.
“Our products will look better, be displayed better and will be easier for customers to shop,” Shively said.
While the anticipated move-in date is set for July or August 2019, Shively said the heavy construction may mean a delay. Back to school shoe shopping is a peak season for Shively, who said the move may have to be adjusted to not interfere with one of his busiest times of the year for his business.