Transformations headed to Vegas

OP's only cross-dressing store hopes business better in Sin City

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Transformations, the women's clothing store for larger women as well as cross-dressers, will close its Oak Park store after 14 years.

The prospect of improved business drove Soto Petropoulos to plan to move the shop to Las Vegas in the new year.

"It's time for a change," Petropoulos said.

Petropoulos has managed the store the past six years and is the son of Rori Scheffler, who owns Transformations, 146 N. Oak Park Ave., and another location in Arlington Heights, which she will continue to run.

"We have very bittersweet feelings," Scheffler said. "It's been a great time here."

Petropoulos said business has slowed at the Oak Park store, he believes because of the economy, higher gas prices, and the difficulty of finding nearby on-street parking. Friends in Las Vegas have told him business is doing fine there.

"I just think there'll be a bigger market in Vegas," he said. Transformations' clientele is about half female and half cross-dressers.

The unusual business never encountered any problems with its host village. In fact, Scheffler said she knew of four people who moved here after visiting the shop.

Transformations drew customers from all over the Chicago area, with most of its cross-dressers usually coming from downtown hotels, Petropoulos said. One regular customer came from Singapore.

The shop is offering sale prices leading up to its last day Dec. 19. Petropoulos hopes to open in Las Vegas by Feb. 1.



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