Nov. 6, 2008

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

You could say Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel has found the right balance.

The popular Williston clothing and footwear store is expanding into a specialty store in Maple Tree Place. The new location sells only New Balance shoes, calling itself New Balance of Williston.


    Observer photo by Tim Simard
New Balance of Williston, owned by Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel, opened its doors this week in Maple Tree Place.

Tim Long, assistant store manager for Lenny’s in Williston, as well as assistant manager of the new store, said the idea of a New Balance-only retail spot has been in the works for three years. He said New Balance shoes have always been a good seller at the different Lenny’s locations — the store also has branches in Barre and St. Albans — and the expansion will benefits customers all over Chittenden County.

New Balance makes shoes for runners and other sports, as well as specialty shoes.

“The New Balance store will be more geared to athletes, as well as people who have foot problems that New Balance shoes are designed to help,” Long said.

The store also features New Balance clothing items, including athletic wear.

The store, located in the same building as Mexicali Grill & Cantina, Player 1 Gaming and AAA, opened briefly on Sunday afternoon, but officially opened on Monday morning, Long said.

“We sold our first pair of shoes this morning,” Long said Monday.

While the New Balance of Williston store will not have the Lenny’s name on its sign, it’s still owned by the shoe and apparel company. New Balance is licensing out its gear and helping to design the store, Long said, but it’s not a franchise; Lenny’s has sole ownership of the shop.

Even though the store is opening in time for the holiday shopping season, a grand opening will not occur until spring, Long said.