A business from Columbus, Ohio, is putting its foot down in Fort Wayne.
DSW Inc., also known as Designer Shoe Warehouse, will open a store at the former World Market location east of Glenbrook Square by fall, officials said Monday.
The retailer will occupy about 18,000 square feet, said Brad Sturges, a partner with CBRE Sturges property management, which represents the landlord.
Its great to see DSW come to town, he said. Anytime we get a new retailer, its a good thing for the market.
The shoe seller operates 336 stores in 41 states, according to the companys website. It replaces World Market, which in January 2009 closed its doors at 4310 Coldwater Road. DSW saw sales increase 11 percent to just over $2 billion last year. The retailer will spend $300,000 in renovations at the location, according to paperwork filed last month with the Allen County Building Department.
Borders Group Inc. had a retail store next door to where World Market was, but announced in March 2011 it would close the Fort Wayne location. Borders was trying to manage through a bankruptcy it filed in February, but ended up having to liquidate its assets. The retail chain had five consecutive years of losses totaling more than $900 million.
The arrival of DSW is welcome news. The store will help fill a sizable hole in a prime area.
A spokeswoman for DSW said the company plans on hiring 40 to 45 employees in Fort Wayne. The retailer also intends to set up shop in 16 former Borders locations.
Sturges has said he expected the adjacent sites in Fort Wayne would attract suitors. CBRE Sturges also manages the 26,000-square-foot Borders spot.
Weve been in conversations and there has been interest, Sturges said of the old Borders site. We have numerous people that were working with.
Sturges wouldnt disclose lease details with DSW, but is confident the retailer will be successful.
It will be great, Sturges said.
Although the most recent Commerce Department report showed consumer spending remained flat in May, that wont discourage a determined merchant, Indiana Retail Council President Grant Monahan said.
Retailers are by their very nature an optimistic group, he said. I would think that DSW entering the Fort Wayne marketplace is a signal that the company has confidence in the retail growth that is available there and looking toward the future.