The store — which is taking over the neighboring space on Broadway vacated by Talbot's in early January — will jump from from 2,800 to 6,500 square feet when it opens its redesigned store, which is expected to be by September 6. The store will not close during the renovations, its owner said.
"We’ve always been a very crowded store and this will be a better environment," said Harry's Shoes owner Robert Goldberg, who, with his brother Randi, owns the business that has been in their family for three generations.
The expansion will allow the Goldbergs to add more contemporary men's shoes to their lineup, including brands such as To Boot New York, Fratelli Rossetti, Santoni, and Hugo Boss, and also continue to expand the women's line.
"We're not changing who we are, but expanding who we are to reach a younger market," said Goldberg.
“After all," he said, "today’s 65-year-old does not want to look like yesterday’s 65-year-old."
Goldberg said he's not worried about competition from the DSW shoe store down the street, which will open this summer, according to a March press release. The Italian shoe store Geox is also opening a new store on the Upper West Side this summer.
The 79th Street DSW will offer more than 32,000 square feet of shoes. DSW did not return requests for comment on its exact opening date. The company operates 336 stores in 41 states and increased its net income from $108 million in 2010 to $136 million in 2011 according to its latest investor presentation.
Goldberg sees the discount chain's arrival as a potential boost to his business because shoppers will come to the area knowing there is a variety of shoe stores to visit. He anticipates very little overlap in the shoes the warehouse will sell and his store's merchandise and little similarity in the discount shoe-shopping experience and the attention his sales staff pays customers.
"In Manhattan, you’re dealing with people who like service. There’s always going to be a discount customer," he said, adding that there was room for both in the neighborhood.