Charles Men's Shop and p.w. minor to team up on new downtown shoe store
It's been years since Downtown Batavia had a nice shoe store and it's a void in the Downtown retail space that Dave Howe has looked at since the day Thomas and Dwyer closed up shop.
He never added a shoe section to his store because of limited space, but two things have come together to make it possible for Howe and partner Don Brown to open up a shoe store just a few doors down from their current East Main Street location.
One, the Chamber of Commerce vacated its space in the City Church (former Mancuso Theater) building, opening up an attractive retail store front with lots of space and great visibility. Two, p.w. minor has two new fashionable shoe lines it wants to sell locally.
"We love the fact that Pete Zeliff and his family and all the family of p.w. minor decided to bring all of the production back from China to here in our own community," Howe said. "It seems like it's the perfect partnership to put together a hometown."
The move is the start of a business expansion for p.w. minor, said Brian Benedict, director of sales. The more than 150-year-old, Batavia-founded and Batavia-based company is going into shoe lines beyond the orthopedic shoes it's long been known for.
The Abrams Boot line is made up of fashionable work boots and the company will also introduce the Batavia Shoe and Boot line.
Bennett said the Downtown retail store will be the company's one-and-only retail location as it seeks new distribution channels for its new line with shoe retailers across the nation.
Howe said two factors will be hallmarks of the new store: quality and American-made products.
And there will be other products besides shoes, such as American-made workwear, belts, gloves and other accessories.
Howe thinks the shoe store will be a good complement to Charles Men's Shop.
The new store won't open until sometime in January, but people looking for shoes for themselves or as Christmas presents can stop into Charles Men's Shop to see the lines of shoes and be fitted for some of the first pairs to come out of the Batavia factory.
Hope this works out.