Designer Shoe Warehouse, best known as DSW Inc., will be opening its first store in Puerto Rico this year, at Plaza Carolina.
The retailer that specializes in selling brand name designer footwear at competitive prices, is already scouting for a store manager, News is my Business learned.
The shoe retailer has had its eye on the Puerto Rico market since late last year, when in September, it unsuccessfully put in a bid for the 34,000 square-foot retail space formerly occupied by the defunct Borders bookstore in Plaza las Américas. The space was subsequently reverted to the mall operators.
Although a Plaza Carolina spokesperson confirmed the mall is “in talks” with DSW, they were unable to provide further details as DSW has not “given us clearance to share details with the media.”
Calls and emails to reach DSW’s media relations department have yet to be answered.
DSW opened its first store in July 1991 in Dublin, Ohio and as of January operated 326 stores in 40 states and 336 leased departments for other retailers in the United States. An average DSW store takes up about 22,000 square feet and carries approximately 24,000 pairs of shoes in stock.
DSW’s incursion into the Puerto Rico market is in line with plans announced in January, when company President Mike MacDonald said the retailer “will be opening more new stores in 2012 than we previously planned, the majority of which will occur in the second half of 2012.
“The expansion of our footprint into new and existing markets is a key growth initiative for us as we further solidify our position as a destination for great brands, fashion and value in the footwear industry,” he said.
Plaza Carolina has seen its share of tenant movement so far this year, with the closing of the Gap store last month. However, the mall is preparing to add apparel retailer Forever 21 to its mix when it opens March 24.