A Richmond retail staple is celebrating its 65th year in business with a bit of a shakeup in Short Pump, while stepping back into online sales.
Saxon Shoes is downsizing from its current two-floor store at Short Pump Town Center to occupy only its upstairs suite.
“I have nothing against the steps, but I’ve gone up enough steps over the course of 12 years,” joked President Gary Weiner, whose parents started the company in 1953.
He said the company is moving its kids’ section upstairs. Weiner said Saxon isn’t reducing its inventory despite reducing its footprint.
“We’re adding some new and different things – some brands no one’s seen around here before,” he said.
Weiner, 60, said he hopes to complete the remodel in about a month, during which the store will remain open. Locally based KSA Interiors and Perretz & Young Architects are designing the space.
Weiner said the mall approached him a few months ago asking if he’d be interested in vacating the downstairs space to make way for a new tenant. Short Pump Town Center’s director of marketing, Pam Howland, said she could not disclose the tenant.
Saxon, which has a second store in Fredericksburg, also soon will enter the world of online sales.
In the late ‘90’s, Weiner created Shoedini.com, which he eventually sold to eBags, a Colorado-based online retailer. During the sale, he said, he signed a non-compete clause regarding internet sales that has since expired.
“We’re relaunching Saxonshoes.com with a new face and functionality sometime in next the next four to six weeks,” he said.
Since the sale of Shoedini, eBags changed the site name to 6pm and sold to online retailer Zappos in 2007.
“My tiny little website that was doing a couple million dollars in sales is now doing $350 to $400 million in sales,” Weiner said.
Short Pump, with a near 100 percent occupancy, recently welcomed local men’s retailer Collared Greens and announced this month that women’s retailer Anthropologie will be opening this summer in the former Build-A-Bear Workshop near Macy’s.
The mall also had a partial change in ownership in the fall, when Australia-based investment firm QIC struck a deal to purchase Forest City Realty Trust’s stake. QIC now owns two-thirds of the mall, with local firm Pruitt Cos. owning the other third.