Levittown Shopping Center has lost its discount shoes, Chinese food and doggy bowls since last year but sneakers and ottomans are on the way.
On Saturday, athletic shoe and apparel retailer Skechers opened a store — its sixth on Long Island — in the shopping center.
Also, a home furnishings store has signed a lease to set up shop in Levittown Shopping Center, said Brian Schuster, broker and vice chairman at Ripco Real Estate LLC, a Manhattan-based firm with a Jericho office that manages leasing for the shopping center.
The new Skechers store combined spaces vacated by two side-by-side tenants last year: 4,500-square-foot restaurant Shanghai Gourmet and 3,300-square-foot Payless ShoeSource, Schuster said.
As for the home furnishings store, it will be moving into a 19,500-square-foot space vacated by Petco several months ago, said Schuster, who said he could not disclose the name of the retailer.
Other tenants in Levittown Shopping Center, which is in the 2900 block of Hempstead Turnpike, are Staples, appliance store P.C. Richard & Son and women’s clothing store Mystique Boutique NYC.
Kind of a big deal
I think Skechers is a bigger deal than many people realize. Founded in 1992, it is the third-largest athletic shoe brand in the United States, falling behind Adidas and the sneaker titan, Nike.
But Skechers doesn’t generate as much buzz as its competitors.
“Unlike a Nike or some others, they don’t have that, ‘Oh, my God, I gotta have that particular thing,’ ” said Sam Poser, a footwear and apparel analyst in the Manhattan office of Susquehanna Financial Group, which is headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
But Skechers is a solid business that drives sales with products that offer value and comfort, he said.
“From a price point and look, Skechers will fill in lots of gaps in lots of categories in lots of places,” he said.
Headquartered in Manhattan Beach, California, Skechers sells it merchandise directly to customers through 3,615 company- and third-party-owned stores internationally. Its products also are sold by other retailers, such as Kohl’s and Famous Footwear.
Skechers declined to comment about its expansion plans beyond the Levittown store.
Impact of pandemic
Like most U.S. retailers, Skechers took a big financial hit from months of government-mandated store closings to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Skechers USA Inc.’s sales fell 42% to $729.5 million globally in the second quarter that ended June 30, it said in an earnings report in July.
But the company did better than expected, in part because of its strong online sales and continued improvement in its business in China, Poser said.
Retail Roundup is a column about major retail news on Long Island — store openings, closings, expansions, acquisitions, etc. — that is published online and in the Monday paper. To read more of these columns, click here. If you have news to share, please send an email to Newsday reporter Tory N. Parrish at [email protected].