11800 W. Broad St.
Second Place: Designer Shoe Warehouse
Third Place: Nordstrom
Saxon Shoes, the family-run shoe store that first opened on Grace Street downtown in 1953, today operates two stores — one at Short Pump Town Center and the other in Fredericksburg. Saxon competes by focusing on fashion, and spotting trends in footwear (think Toms) and reacting to them quickly while bigger chains struggle to turn over inventory. "Business has been really, really brisk since the end of last year," says Gary Weiner, Saxon's owner, who says during the tough economy people find solace in a comfortable pair of shoes. "It's a quick, easy fix to look better and feel better," he says. And soon, Weiner says, Saxon will offer its shoes online.