21 Aug 2014
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Matava Shoes Out, DSW In at Annapolis Harbour Center

Matava to close Tuesday, while DSW is slated to open in the old Office Depot in the fall.

Matava Shoes Out, DSW In at Annapolis Harbour Center Matava Shoes Out, DSW In at Annapolis Harbour Center Matava Shoes Out, DSW In at Annapolis Harbour Center Matava Shoes Out, DSW In at Annapolis Harbour Center

After seven years at the Annapolis Harbour Center, Matava Shoes will close on Tuesday.

"It's a combination of a lot of things; it's not one thing," said Kathy Matava, owner, who also has two stores in the Baltimore area.

Matava said though the first year at the Annapolis store was "phenomenal" every year since has been disappointing.

"It's the first store I've had where we actually decreased," she said. "I think this is a tough market here. While we have loyal customers, there aren't enough of them. I'm not sure if it's the casual lifestyle of Annapolis, they just don't seem to be into as upscale retail as a lot of other cities are."

And then there was a big hit from a neighbor.

"It didn't help that Whole Foods left," Matava said. "The (Fresh) Market is not drawing the same crowds that Whole Foods was and of course, Nordstrom Rack opening sort of seals this as sort of a discount mall.

"I know they're negotiating with DSW. There's no reason for me to stay."

Lerner Enterprises, the management company for the Annapolis Harbour Center, could not be reached for comment. 

But in a statement on June 6, the company announced DSW Shoe Warehouse is opening in the space previously occupied by Office Depot.

"Annapolis Harbour Center DSW will be the twelfth location in Maryland and first in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County," officials said in the statement.

The store is slated to open this fall.

Though Matava considered Annapolis Towne Centre, she said, "I was stuck in a lease."

She said now neither the towne centre or Westfield Annapolis mall are options. She's done in Annapolis.

"I want to thank all of the people that have supported us down here and I'm sorry to leave," she said.

For many, Carla Mansfield was the face of the Matava Shoes at Annapolis Harbour Center. As a Matava employee for five years, Mansfield is undersandably upset over the loss of not just a job, but a place she's spent a lot of time smiling and greeting friends and customers.

"It's real sad," she said. "Every day I feel more and more sad."

The store will be open through Tuesday and most of the merchandise is currently marked down significantly.

To visit the store's website, visit www.matavashoes.com.

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