Universal Sole has announced big changes coming up involving its two locations, including the closing of the Lakeshore East store on Nov. 1. Partially connected to this announcement, smaller changes and additions will take place at Universal Sole in Lakeview
“As of November 1st we will be closing the doors at Lakeshore East,” Universal Sole owner Joel Feinberg said. “We decided this with how everything is going and the growth of Lakeview. We loved the location of Lakeshore East and our partners and neighbors, we just couldn’t get it going to the level that we would like to get it to.”
Feinberg said the store’s partnerships, specifically with Magellan Developmental Properties, were still strong and they had a great relationship with the store’s neighbors. Unfortunately, the location didn’t attract as much traffic from other neighborhoods as Feinberg had hoped.
The Lakeshore East store opened in the spring of 2013 and was seen as a replacement for Universal Sole’s store in the Running Institute. With its new store, Universal Sole introduced a number or new events and clothing lines sold only at that location. Feinberg said the popular events and apparel will move to the Lakeview store.
In addition to the increased events and merchandise, Feinberg said he is eager to showcase the Lakeview store as a flagship location. Small repairs and improvements will take place both inside and outside the store, Feinberg said. Universal Sole has signed a three-year extension to keep the northside store in place.
“We’re excited to keep servicing that community,” Feinberg said of his Lakeview store. “We were the first running store in that community. We will be adding a lot more events, we were challenged a lot to balance events between Lakeview and downtown.”
While Feinberg said the option to add a second store always exists, for now the brand will focus exclusively on its Lakeview location. Feinberg said Universal Sole’s events have grown in popularity, specifically its trail races, and added a Halloween run. They will continue to add races in addition to the Lakeshore events like Truck-n-Trek.
Feinberg, who has owned Universal Sole for six years, said the most important thing is the overall health of the brand.
“We’re not looking at it as we are sad,” Feinberg said of the closing. “We are sad, but we’re looking at it as sort of the way things go. We are just glad the name is still healthy and strong.”