NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – We got a sneak peek Tuesday at the new Reyers Shoe Store location soon to open at the Eastwood Mall.
The store is moving from its location in downtown Sharon to the JCPenney Concourse inside the mall.
The nearly 14,000 square foot space will be big enough to hold the “world’s largest shoe store.” The mock-up of the sleek, new design features a modern look with plenty of window shopping space.
Brothers Mark and Steve Jubelirer, who own Reyers, promise it’ll be the same except that it won’t be in Sharon.
“We’re looking forward to it with eagerness and a bit of a broken heart,” Mark Jubelirer said.
The move is part of Reyers’ strategy to grow its brand and serve customers throughout the region.
Hubbard’s Nancy Silvashy left Reyers in Sharon Tuesday afternoon with a bag in hand and a small hole in her heart.
“I think that it’s awful. I’ve been shopping here since I was a child and I’m 90. I have to be one of their oldest customers,” she said.
Inside Reyers, Mark and Steve Jubelirer talked about their decision to move to the Eastwood Mall in Niles. With fewer people in downtown Sharon, they had been looking to move for a while.
“Nothing seemed to have been quite right until we found this space at the Eastwood Mall, and it’s perfect,” Steve Jubelirer said.
Eastwood Mall spokesperson Joe Bell said the search took years.
“From what I understand, they have been talking quite a while. Reyers themselves we know they’ve been looking several years for a new place,” Bell said.
Bell said the former Forever 21 store where the new Reyers will go will give them plenty of space.
“The showroom size is roughly the same as they have in Sharon, but it gives them a lot more visibility,” Bell said.
Still, Reyers is leaving behind a legacy unmatched by any other Sharon business. It’s been downtown for 135 years. There are pictures inside the main entrance from 1890.
People like Sharpsville’s Gene Leonard all have a Reyers story.
“My father-in-law used to be a shoemaker down here. He took care of all the shoes for his dad’s store,” Leonard said.
Some of the history will be going with them like all the Brannock devises used to measure foot size.
“We are going to measure your feet. We are going to fit you up properly, something that isn’t done in other shoe stores,” Steve Jubelirer said.
Reyers was originally founded in 1886 by German immigrant John Reyer, a cobbler. John later handed down the little shop to his son Carl and in the early 1950s, he sold the store to the Jubelirer family from Pittsburgh.
Over the years, Reyers has been featured in Time magazine, USA Today and The David Letterman Show.
One thing Reyers shoppers will lose with the move across the state is no sales tax on shoes. In Ohio, they will be taxed.
The store is expected to open inside the mall this summer.