Rye Shoe Boom: Newcomer Walin and Wolff Steps In

New shoe retailer Walin and Wolff coming to Purchase Street in Rye.

High-end shoes will soon step into the stoplight on Purchase Street. Beloved shoe retailer will soon complete its relocation to the former site of Athlete's Foot at 37 Purchase Street and a new player will step onto the Rye fashion scene.

 Walin and Wolff- will soon put down its footprint at the former site of Victoria's Secret at 62 Purchase Street.

Walin & Wolff already has a location in New Canaan, CT which opened in March. The business is also locating their corporate offices at 114 Pearl Street in nearby Port Chester. 

The two owners of Walin & Wolff are Christina Johnson-Wolff -of Greenwich- and Kim Walin -who lives in Rowayton.  Johnson-Wolff was the former CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue and Walin's background was from Wall Street where she worked as a retail analyst for many years.

Kim Walin said their new store would likely have its official opening on Saturday, September 1. Once open the store will employ 6-8 employees.

"We think that Rye will be a strong location for us," said Walin. "The town has great appeal relative to its demographics and the wonderful ease of shopping you find on Purchase Street."  

Sally Wright of the Rye Chamber of Commerce was not concerned about the addition of another high-end women's shoe retailer to the Purchase Street mix. 

"If you think about it, there is a lot of duplication of services and stores in our downtown," said Wright. "It is more about the quality of the product and customer service that will determine who stays and who goes." 

In fact, upcoming events like Fashion's Night Out in Rye in which Walin and Wolff is participating, seem to bear out Purchase Street's ability to support an array of fashion-related businesses even those that sometimes target the same market of merchandise and customers. 

Kim Walin talked about the allure of Purchase Street for her business. "Our goal is to appeal to the local consumer who would prefer to shop on "Main Street" locations for fashionable merchandise -- that they would normally find in the city or high-end department stores."   

Bob Zahm August 23, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Glad to see a high end / high service (hope) / high quality (hope) business filling a hole on Purchase street, but another shoe store? I do wish them good luck, but it's a tough market...
Lin Corrigan August 23, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Women love shoes, Bob! No worries. I have been to the New Canaan store. It is fabulous. Walin and Wolff will be a wonderful addition to Purchase Street and will, undoubtedly, provide a high end product with the service and quality you are expecting. Can't wait! Good luck, ladies!
Linda Bloom August 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM
Actually, Shoes & More is in the former location of Shoe Inn. Another running shoe store is up and running where Athlete's Foot used to be.
Renea Henry (Editor) August 24, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Shoes 'n More shares the same subdivided storefront as Rye Running Company.


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