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A longtime independent shoe store, Waxberg’s Walk Shoppe on Dempster Street in Niles, has new owners who say customers can expect the same comfort brands and experienced shoe fitters the store has always offered, as well as a pedorthist.
Wisconsin-based, family-owned company Stan’s Fit For Your Feet purchased the store from the Waxberg family at the end of last year, company President and CEO Jim Sajdak said.
Sadjak and former owner Ron Waxberg are longtime friends and when Waxberg began thinking about retirement, the idea that the Sajdak family might take over the business “was a natural fit,” he said.
Marketing Director Megan Sajdak said the acquisition was an obvious next step as the family looks to expand its business. She and her three brothers are all involved in the business, which has three locations in Wisconsin and also owns three other shoe stores.
They said they plan to keep much of what’s kept Waxberg’s in business for the last 103 years. Waxberg’s is a third-generation family business that has been in operation since 1919; Stan’s has been a family business since 1950, according to a company news release.
“We share a lot of the same brands… but we’re going to bring in some lines that we think will do well in that area, that maybe the Waxberg’s customers have not seen before,” Jim Sajdak said.
He added that “We were really fortunate… to retain [Waxberg’s] entire staff, which is great for continuity,” he added.
“There’s some really seasoned veterans there that are just delightful to have as part of our team. These guys really know what they’re doing.”
Longtime Waxberg’s customer Phyllis DeBlasio, who was shopping at the store Monday, said she keeps coming to the store because the staff is knowledgeable and attentive.
“These guys give good advice,” she said, nodding towards Andrew Hondropoulos, assistant manager. “They take care of you, they really do.”
Megan Sajdak said store customers might see a digital foot scanner or other technology updates in the coming months, as well as some visual interior updates to the store itself.
The family is excited to get to know the Niles business community, the Sajdaks said.
“We’re excited to be on Dempster because it’s really a great, busy street,” Jim Sajdak said. “There couldn’t be a better spot for us. We’re just excited to be there.”
He added that they’ve been in contact with the village Chamber of Commerce and are looking forward to being involved with the community through events and charity drives.
“We’re going to be working with different doctors in the area, fitness centers, different ladies’ nights,” Megan said.
They’re also on the lookout for different races and runs to be involved in and are planning a “share the pair” shoe drive to collect gently-used shoes for a local nonprofit in the village, she said.