BILOXI -- The sprawling Shoe Dept. Encore store makes its debut at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi on Friday.
The store -- No. 1153 in the Shoe Show chain -- is near the carousel at the south entrance of the mall, where Picadilly restaurant had been.
The mall on U.S. 90 is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.
The 16,000-square-foot shoe store carries brands such as Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Rocky Boots, K Swiss, Reebok, Nike, Keds, New Balance, Converse, Vans, Skechers, Rocket Dog, Teva and Crocs,
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The Shoe Dept. Encore division began in 2008 and typically is two to three times the square footage of a standard Shoe Dept. store. They cater to a broader range of customers, with footwear for men, women and children and a wider variety of shoes and prices.
The company's corporate headquarters and distribution center near Charlotte, N.C., which spans 23 acres, ships more than 1.2 million pairs of shoes a week using a paperless radio-frequency system.
Robert Tucker opened the first Shoe Show 55 years ago, installing used carpeting bought from a church and racks he and others spray-painted themselves. The first store employed Tucker, his wife and one part-time employee. The company now has more than 9,500 employees and stores in 43 states. It averages a store opening every seven days.
Some of the company's growth has been through acquisitions of companies such as Burlington Shoes in 1986, the company said in a press release. The Burlington Shoes/Shoe Dept. division has grown to 681 and continues to expand. These stores features shoes by Clarks, Columbia, Florsheim, Rocky Boots, Skechers, Steve Madden, Timberland and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as branded athletics such as Reebok, Nike, New Balance, Keds, Ariat, Wolverine, Ralph Lauren and Adidas.