After a try for an encore, The Shoe Zoo bids farewell again

We received the following email from “The Zoo Keeper,” owner Bruce Stern, this afternoon, saying that The Shoe Zoo (2920 NE Blakeley St # B) is closing:

Well, I certainly hoped I wouldn’t have to write this letter, but I must. I was optimistic when we gave it one more try last year. I thought maybe we could survive with everyone knowing how tough of a time we were having. I am afraid to say it was a mistake. I just prolonged the inevitable. I couldn’t have imagined it getting so much worse, but it did.

I want to thank you for your support, not only during this last year, but for the past 24 years as well. It’s been very special watching your kids grow up over the years, from fitting your children with their first pair of shoes, then, in a blink of an eye, outgrowing our store. I felt a little bit more special than just your average retail store owner, maybe because you treated me that way. And for that, a heartfelt thank you.

Now, I don’t want to get into too much detail, but after the going-out-of-business sale last year, I had to re-stock the entire store. Let’s just say, The Zoo Keeper really needs your help. I have to try and pay for all of these shoes. So please come in and take advantage of some great savings on your shoe and boot purchases.

Starting today, everything in the store will be 20% off. Everything must go, so if you see something that isn’t marked, please make an offer. I will be selling stockroom shelves, which are perfect for your garage, classic children’s movies, stuffed animals, pictures, equipment, tools, benches, and much more. Over the next few months, I will be sending out email notifications with updates and such. I really hope to see you, it would mean so much to me.

Thank You,
The Zoo Keeper

Here are links to our previous coverage of The Shoe Zoo’s rebirth (May 21, 2011), and the first closure sale (January 30, 2011).

The Shoe Zoo lives on, celebrates rebirth this weekend

When last I visited with The Shoe Zoo‘s “Zoo Keeper,” Bruce Stern, the over two-decades-old local shoe store was going out of business. The fall back-to-school season, normally the Christmas of shoe stores, had seen far below normal sales. It seemed like the end was near, and in late January of this year, Bruce had decided that it was time to call it quits. A going-out-of-business sale started on late January.

Bruce Stern, helping a lucky girl's grandmother during the going-out-of-business sale in January.

And then, over the course of the sale, as customer after customer came through The Shoe Zoo’s doors telling him how much the store would be missed, Bruce decided he would make a go of it after all.

Bruce, via email, talking about the new plan for The Shoe Zoo:

Needless to say, I have heard hundreds of my dearest customers express their sadness about the closing of one of their favorite stores. Trust me, it has been terribly sad for me too. So, after weeks of sleepless nights, I’ve come to realize that The Shoe Zoo can and will survive. We are going to change its format to fit our trying times. The Shoe Zoo is now going to be a store that you can always go to for really great deals on children’s shoes. We will always have sale racks, with ever changing name brand shoes, marked at least 25% off, plus some of your favorite brands always marked less than anywhere else around. The lowest prices always.

A “Grand Reopening” sign has decorated his storefront windows ever since, and this weekend, May 21-22, he invites you back to celebrate.

Via another email:

As you know we are having our Grand Re-Opening sale going on now. This weekend, May 21st and 22nd we are giving away activity books and some other items with your purchases. Also balloons and a special appearance by Simba from the Lion King. You will also be able to enter our drawings for gift certificates and free shoes. It will be a lot of fun for everyone, so I hope to see all of you here.

The Shoe Zoo is located at 2920 NE Blakeley St, Suite B, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10AM-6PM, Sundays 11AM-5PM.

You can also find The Shoe Zoo on facebook.