Reyers to Leave Sharon, Move to Eastwood Mall

Updated May 25 | Renderings of Eastwood Mall location
SHARON, Pa. – Reyers Shoe Store’s upcoming move from its longtime home downtown to the Eastwood Mall Complex in Niles, Ohio, was “becoming inevitable,” Reyers president Mark Jubelirer said Monday.

During a phone interview, Jubelirer said Reyers will move to the mall this summer, with an opening planned for August. The company was founded in 1886 by cobbler John Reyer. Jubelirer’s family purchased the store in 1953, and it has operated at its current downtown Sharon location since the 1980s.

“There was no other option except to close altogether. My brother and I are too young to retire,” Jubelirer said. “We wanted to continue our father’s legacy. We wanted to still service our customers. They’ve been with us for generations so we wanted to keep our store open and it was no longer possible in downtown Sharon.”

Joe Bell, director of communications for the Cafaro Co., which operates the Eastwood Mall Complex, confirmed that the retailer was moving to the mall.

“We are delighted to have Reyers moving into the complex. It is a well-known and respected brand, and we’re looking forward to working with them to help assure their continued success,” he said.

Rendering of the Reyers Eastwood Mall location. (Image: Cafaro)

Bell was unsure how long discussions between Cafaro and Reyers officials have been going on, but speculated the move had been “part of a long discussion with” Reyers owners Mark and Steven Jubelirer.

The move was driven by a need to increase traffic, Jubelirer said. The company investigated other Shenango Valley locations including in the Hermitage Plaza and along Pennsylvania Route 18. He complimented the Cafaro Co. staff and in particular co-president Antony Cafaro Jr. as being “extremely gracious and helpful” in Reyers’ decision.

“We’ve seen this coming for more than a decade and we’ve done our due diligence,” Jubelirer said. “We wanted to stay in downtown Sharon because this is where we grew up. This is where we thrived.”

The store will take over a 14,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Forever 21, he said. Reyers will bring new brands, new styles and new colors into the new location. It’s offering positions at the new store to the “several dozen” employees it now has – Jubelirer declined to be more specific – and is seeking a dozen more employees for the new store.

“We’re going to be ready with a staff that is full of seasoned professionals who win national service awards all the time,” he said. “So nothing about us is changing except our location.”

Reyers’ planned opening will come just months before Boscov’s opens its first Mahoning Valley store at the mall complex, and Cafaro officials are in discussions with “a couple different entities,” Bell said.

“It’s always been our position to bring the best possible brands and the best possible mix of businesses to the Eastwood Mall Complex,” Bell said.

Jubelirer emphasized that the decision to leave Sharon wasn’t an easy one.

“We are very reluctant to have had to do this,” he said. “It’s with a very heavy heart that we do this. We love Sharon.”

Olivia Brown, executive director of the Shenago Valley Chamber of Commerce, lamented the loss of the longtime fixture of downtown Sharon and the Shenango Valley but pledged to support the retailer during the transition.

“Reyers has been a staple of downtown Sharon for many years. We are very sad to see them go but we wish them all the best in their new endeavor at the Eastwood Mall,” she said.

Pictured at top: Rendering of cash register area for Reyers in Eastwood Mall. (Image: Cafaro)

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.