Schuler Shoes opened its 10th Twin Cities' location in St. Paul Wednesday. "We sold our first pair of shoes 10 minutes after we opened," said Schuler's marketing director Kari Palmer.

Schuler's continues to grow at a time when many other shoe stores are closing. Venerable retailers such as Roberts Shoes on Lake Street in Minneapolis and Bay Street Shoes in Uptown closed last year.

Schuler's has strengthened its niche by catering to an audience that wants good customer service, knowledgeable sales staff, a wide range of sizes, and relatively stylish but comfortable shoes. Most of its stores are located in the suburbs.

Co-owner John Schuler said only 3 percent of the retailer's sales are online, but the company is hoping to increase that this year. The website has been freshened and reflects current inventories. In the past, inventory was only updated three times a week.

No additional locations are in the pipeline, Palmer said, but the Roseville store is moving in the fall from Har Mar Mall to a new building in the Target parking lot across the street. Construction has begun at the new location.

Grand opening events are planned for March 26-29, but a men's event is in progress. Get $15 off any purchase of $75 or more in the men's department at any of the 10 locations through March 2.

As Highland Park shoppers know well, parking is tight in the neighborhood. Schuler's has its own parking lot with 14 dedicated spaces, next to Walgreens, which also has its own lot. The new shoe store is located at 2081 Ford Parkway in St. Paul.

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