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DeKalb DSW opening draws curious shoppers

Published: Thursday, April 10, 2014 11:33 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, April 11, 2014 12:03 a.m. CDT
(Danielle Guerra –
DSW store manager Chris Papanek (left center) cuts a ceremonial ribbon with DeKalb Mayor John Rey (right center), members of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, and employees of the store. DSW, located at 2347 Sycamore Road in DeKalb, opened Thursday morning.

DeKALB – Sycamore resident Jeanna Valentin needed to buy sandals Thursday before she got a pedicure and saw comedian Gabriel Iglesias at Northern Illinois University’s Convocation Center.

Valentin noticed the grand opening of DSW at 2347 Sycamore Road in DeKalb and decided to check out DeKalb’s newest shoe retailer.

“You can get really nice shoes here at a better price,” Valentin said.

DSW managers are hoping the 12,000-square-foot DeKalb location is here to stay. The store currently has 30 employees, three of them full-time, said Lester Giedrojc, DSW district manager.

The store is in the Oakland Place Shopping Center, the same plaza that houses Michael’s and T.J. Maxx. Five Below, a store known for selling items for $5 or less, plans to open in the space next door to DSW on April 25. The two retailers will occupy the space formerly used by an Old Navy store.

Store manager Chris Papanek, who has been with the company for five and a half years, said DSW wants customers to think of his store when shopping for shoes and accessories. When they choose to shop at DSW, they’ll find friendly employees who love what they do, he said.

“They love shoes and fashion,” Papanek said. “They have that passion.”

Curiosity led DeKalb resident Daniel Olson to walk into the store and check out the belt selection.

Olson, who has already shopped at DSW’s Geneva location, said DeKalb needed a shoe store in addition to those already in town.

Although the DeKalb location is smaller compared to the rest of DSW’s locations  – the company’s stores are typically 22,000 square feet – Olson said the selection is still impressive.

“There’s a lot to choose from,” he said, “and the prices are good. It’s a good value for the money.”

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