British Columbia’s first Designer Shoe Warehouse is set to open right here in Saanich Thursday.
Bruce Dinan, CEO of Town Shoes, the Canadian company responsible for DSW’s nationwide rollout, said the timing was just right to set up shop in Greater Victoria, with the Saanich location taking a spot at the Island Home Centre.
“We’ve taken a look at all the markets across Canada and certainly B.C. was a very important market,” he said. “It just happened that the timing of the real estate made Victoria our first store within British Columbia.
“We expect to have some other stores there over the next year or so, but the opportunity in Victoria opened itself up, so we thought it was a great market to go in with a DSW store.”
The new store takes up 20,000 square feet and will have more than 22,000 pairs of designer shoes, featuring such brands as Converse, Sam Edelman, Vince Camuto, Steve Madden, Nine West, Nike, New Balance, Lacoste, Timberland and Coach.
“If you want to dress up or just want to go casual or if you’re into running, we have the shoes for you,” said Dinan.
DSW’s foray into Canada is relatively new, with its first two stores opening in Ontario just over a year ago.
“We wanted to make sure we got the concept right and that we delivered on the DSW experience,” said Dinan. “Since then, we’ve opened up four stores this spring and we’re going to open up seven stores over the next eight weeks.”
The stores will be identical to their U.S. counterparts, with a similar selection of shoes, socks, handbags, belts and other accessories in addition to thousands and thousands of shoes.
The grand opening will feature a ribbon cutting, and Mayor Richard Atwell is scheduled to be in attendance. The ceremonies begin at 8 a.m. on Aug. 20, at 805 Cloverdale Ave., Unit 100.