Comfort One Shoes Retail Chain Goes Big With New Flagship Store
May 29, 2018 - metal shoes
When Maurice Breton beheld a lady withdrawal empty-handed from his new Comfort One Shoes flagship store in ancestral Old Town Alexandria, Va., he was extraordinary why. After all, a three-story, 10,000-square-foot plcae during 200 King St., that non-stop in March, offers some-more than 75 brands and hundreds of styles from some of a world’s top-selling comfort labels, including Earth, Romika, Jambu and OluKai.
The store, only mins outward Washington, D.C., outlines a homecoming for a sell veteran. Breton non-stop his initial location, that sits directly opposite King Street, 25 years ago.
While a new store is a 22nd in a Comfort One chain, it’s a initial housed in skill owned by a retailer. Breton acquired a circa-1880 building in 2016 for $3.3 million and has given poured another $1 million into renovations to update a space.
“We motionless that for a family business to possess a possess genuine estate is distant higher than to be during a forgiveness of landlords,” pronounced Breton, who runs Comfort One Shoes with his son Garrett, VP of merchandising, and mother Deborah, who handles open relations. “It will be in a family for generations.” And a family skeleton to gain on this devise with some-more sell acquisitions.
Updating a building, before a fondle store, was no easy charge due to a ancestral status. All renovations finished to a building compulsory capitulation by a Old and Historic Alexandria Board of Architectural Review.
To make certain all work was adult to code, a Bretons tapped internal firms Kulinski Group Architects and Calloway Contracting Group. “They knew how to get things finished in a city,” Breton pronounced of a process, that took scarcely dual years to complete.
According to Stephen Kulinski, owners of a eponymous design firm, “the building indispensable some adore to move it back.” He was referring to rambling repairs finished to a extraneous section over a years. “We were means to move in specialists who took out bad repairs and brought it behind to life. We updated all a [interior] systems though kept a bombard to a ancestral standards.”
Because a building remained a blurb property, dear renovations such as installing handicap-accessible bathrooms and an conveyor could have been avoided. However, pronounced Breton, “we wanted to be unapproachable of a building, and got it adult to formula in each way. Our investments and improvements make a building some-more valuable.”
While a Bretons relied on professionals to take a space down to a studs, father and son designed a complicated industrial look. Their devise incorporated reclaimed wood, aged church pews and shingles they detected during Second Chance, a nonprofit in Baltimore that operates a secondhand shop. In addition, Comfort One’s in-house handyman and carpenters assembled a potion shelving hold adult by steel pipes. “We didn’t gangling any expense,” pronounced Breton.
So far, a investment has paid off, according to a company. Since a store’s opening, it has been a chain’s No. 1 volume location, due in partial to a serendipitous position during a stop along King Street’s giveaway trolley route. The sight is generating poignant feet traffic, finished adult of locals as good as informal and general tourists. “It was a large surprise,” pronounced Breton. “We didn’t comprehend how many people got off during a stop.”
Vendors such as Arcopedico are also looking brazen to drumming this patron base. “The plcae in a traveller area could be a good event for us,” pronounced Dan Simas, boss of Simco Imported Shoes, that distributes a line. “Our boots are good in [a city] where people do a lot of walking and comfort is a factor.”
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