Our friends at Retail-Insider are reporting that iconic Canadian footwear chain Town Shoes is set to be closed down after a stellar 66 years in business.
Town Shoes currently operates 38 stores across Canada, and according to industry insiders, this may cause problems for mall landlords as another departing chain will cause significant vacancies in malls across the country.
This is an interesting turn of events for Town Shoes, as the retailer recently announced in April that it was improving operations and acquired new brands to stock on the shelves. Stores had already begun the renovation process, so it’s somewhat a shock to people following the brand.
Retail-Insider points out that this announcement isn’t completely out of left field. Many Canadian footwear brands are struggling for market share, hence why brands are looking to consolidate their offerings and save on the hard costs of store operations.
In case you forgot, American Parent company DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse bought Town Shoes in 2014. The acquisition of Town Shoes by DSW allowed DSW to open large format concept store in Canada and used Town Shoes expertise in distribution and logistics.
Fast forward to 2018, DSW now owns 100% state in Town Shoes and according to reports as early as May told suppliers that the Town Shoes nameplate would be shut down. As of 2018 Town Shoes Limited was the largest branded footwear retailer in Canada with 38 Town Shoes stores, and 113 Shoe Company and Shoe Warehouse Stores.
DSW will continue to operate in Canada and also will continue to operate it’s newly launched sneaker concept GRAIL in Vancouver. The concept is expected to be rolled out in key markets nationally and possibily an expansion into the United States.
It will be sad to see Town Shoes go as many Canadians have at least bought one pair of shoes there. The history of Town Shoes is extensive and it was founded in 1952.