EGO, a footwear chain based in the Dominican Republic, has opened its first store in Puerto Rico, at the Plaza Las Américas shopping center in Hato Rey.
In an exclusive interview with
this media outlet, EGO co-Partner Luis Torres, said the new 2,300 square-foot
store entailed a $100,000 investment and is the first of four or five more in
the pipeline to open in the next two years.
EGO carries a variety of shoes for
men and women imported from Brazil, in a range of prices “to fill a void that’s
opening up in the market,” said Torres, who along with business partner Kelvyn
Núñez decided to enter Puerto Rico’s competitive retail market.
“We’re trying to work a formula
that is rather different because our pricing target is broader than most. We’re
addressing two client profiles — ‘fashionistas’ looking for the trendy shoe, and
more conservative clients looking for special types of shoes,” Torres said. “The
idea is that regardless of the product profile you’re looking for, we have it.”
EGO’s men’s line is more
high-end in pricing and materials, he said. EGO imports shoes made of synthetic
leather, which Torres said is the trend in Brazil, where there is an ongoing vegan
campaign against sacrificing animals to make shoes. The synthetic leather is
breathable, he said.
The local store adds to the 20-store
operation in the Dominican Republic, Torres said. A dozen new jobs are being
created, split between those working at Plaza Las Américas and those at the
company’s Arecibo warehouse. That operation runs as Tonu Imports, the wholesale
part of the business that also has presence in the Dominican Republic.
Aside from opening more stores
in Puerto Rico, Torres is looking to continue expanding Tonu Imports’ footprint
with new operations in Florida and New York.