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DSW store to open in DeKalb

DeKALB – Shoppers will have a new place to get their kicks when DSW opens a shoe store in part of the former Old Navy space in the Oakland Place Shopping Center on the city’s north side.

Roger Hopkins, economic development consultant for the city of DeKalb, said the store’s renovation plans have been in review for about two months. Located between Michael’s and T.J. Maxx, Old Navy closed in February 2012 after 10 years at 2347 Sycamore Road.

“We are really looking forward to the store opening, and now some of the mystery behind the remodeling will be reduced,” Hopkins said.

Officials announced last month that Five Below, a discount retailer with everything priced from $1 to $5, would open in the other half of the former Old Navy location, but waited until DSW’s lease was finalized to make an announcement.

“We were pretty confident they would carry through with remodeling and improvements, but we couldn’t make the announcement until the lease was finalized,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins did not have a target opening date.

DSW Inc., formerly known as Discount Shoe Warehouse, offers a wide selection of brand name and designer dress, casual and athletic footwear and accessories for women, men and children. According to the company’s website,, it operates 394 stores in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as 356 leased departments for other retailers in the U.S.

According to the website, DSW stores are typically about 22,000 square feet, but Hopkins said the DeKalb store will be in the 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot range.

“We understand they just started opening smaller stores in smaller communities about six to eight months ago,” Hopkins said.

DeKalb Mayor John Rey said city officials have been trying to attract DSW since it ranked second among desired retailers in the local shopping behavior survey.

“The apparel sector is one we’ve been focused on to give options to those consumers we’ve probably been losing to surrounding areas,” Rey said.

Hopkins said that survey was conducted in the fall of 2011 and presented to the City Council in the spring of 2012. Trader Joe’s was the most desired retailer.

Other businesses on the list included Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s, Costco, Sam’s Club, Ulta, Baby’s R Us, Home Depot, Forever 21, Nordstrom, Gander Mountain, Crate & Barrel, Home Goods and Hy-Vee.

DSW representatives did not immediately return calls for comment Thursday.

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