BRADENTON -- Shoe Carnival will celebrate the grand opening of its newest location here Saturday with prizes and deals for customers.
The new Shoe Carnival at 1137 Cortez Road W. is Bradenton's first location, but it is the fifth in the greater Tampa Bay market.
The March 16 celebration will be just one of 15 grand openings nationwide as Shoe Carnival expands across the country. John Kuche, general manager for the Shoe Carnival in Bradenton, is excited about the local grand opening.
"I'm prepared for it to be massively crazy here on Saturday," he said. "The ads are out and there are commercials playing, so we're expecting a crowd."
He said he's already gotten calls from customers who want to know more about the store, which offers a diverse range of brands.
To that end, Kuche said the store, which opened quietly on March 1, has also attracted a diverse range of customers, including families, senior citizens and people looking for particular brands.
"We've already seen a lot of traffic and are doing pretty well so far," he said. "The mix of people who come in here are quite diverse and all kinds of products are selling."
Jessica Hass, public relations coordinator for Shoe Carnival, said the company picked the Cortez Road location because it is "family-friendly" and fits in well with Shoe Carnival's typical customers.
"We want to make shoe shopping fun," Hass said. "We want it to feel like the kids can actually come and have a good time."
To that end, this weekend's grand opening will include games and giveaways that are geared to youngsters.
The first 100 customers to arrive at the new store Saturday will receive a $10 reward card to use toward anything in the store.
The store opens at 9 a.m. and will offer doorbuster deals until noon. The store will also have a $1,000 cash drawing at 11 a.m. courtesy of Skechers shoes.
Toni Whitt, Herald business editor, can be reached at 941-745-7087. Follow her@tonitwhitt