Monday, July 25, 2016

McMahan Shoes to Shutter in Decatur

Historic shoe store to close next month.

McMahan Shoes, which traces its roots to downtown Atlanta in 1948, is closing down.  Now located in North Decatur Center at the corner of North Decatur and Clairmont Roads, the store is actively liquidating. Plans call for the store to close for good August 15th.  

From the McMahan Shoes website:

"In January of 1948, John McMahan began his shoe business in downtown Atlanta on the seventh floor of the old Henry Grady Office Building. A few years later, he moved to 417 Peachtree Road, then to a larger location at 429 Peachtree Road. In 1973 a big decision was made to move off Peachtree to 505 Courtland Street. Here everything was on one level, the show room, the shoe repair shop and the custom orthoses lab. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s the store was relocated to Decatur, Georgia." 

Before opening at North Decatur Center about six years ago, McMahan occupied a space at 250 East Ponce de Leon Avenue in downtown Decatur.  

The McMahan closure follows the recent closure of Shoe Center at nearby Toco Hills.

The early 2000s brought the bankruptcies and eventual complete closures of Birmingham, Alabama-based Just For Feet and Atlanta-based The Sport Shoe, each with many locations in metro Atlanta.

While big box competition and online retailers have challenged smaller, independent shoe retailers, some in Atlanta have thrived.  

Abbadabba's, another Atlanta-based footwear retailer, has adjusted, as has Atlanta's Bennie's Shoes.   Both shuttered or relocated underperforming locations to strengthen their remaining business. 

In downtown Atlanta, Walter's and Friedman's both continue to be destinations for shoe lovers.  Walter's, which first opened in 1952, and Friedman's which opened in 1929, have each carved out their own niches.  Walter's, which also carries clothing, appeals to trendy "sneakerheads" and celebrities.  Friedman's, which specializes in larger shoe sizes, appeals to athletes.  Friedman's was definitely challenged by the advent of the internet, but launched to capture online sales.  The evolution of Friedman's (and the fact that they played a part in the launch of Zappos) was even featured in an ESPN 30 For 30 short.     

Where do you shop for shoes?  What is your favorite local shoe store?  What would you like to see open in place of McMahan shoes in Decatur?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Ham said...

I’ve shopped at Bennie’s a good bit, but most recently have been going to Nordstrom’s. I occasionally buy on-line if I’m very confident of the fit. I’ve purchased several pairs of New Balance shoes from Amazon and the fit seems to be pretty consistent.

Anonymous said...

I used to shop at the Shoe Center in Toco Hills. Recently shopped at DSW but they don't have all the special sizes.

Unknown said...

does anyone know how to reach owners or Curtis, the fellow that worked on shoes? I dropped off a number of shoes to have work done and can't reach them.

Anonymous said...

There's a store in spartanburg, SC.. you could try calling them

Unknown said...

What other stores carry support Shoes with strong arch support?

Unknown said...

My kids grew up wearing Mcmahan's shoes These shoes were designed just for them.I really enjoyed shopping there
Are there any stores like Mcmahan's?

Anonymous said...

Did you ever get an answer to your question

a student said...

As a 6-year-old, in the 1950's, I had slewed feet that made me walk on the inside of my heels. My father had me fitted for orthopedic high-top shoes at the McMahan store on Peachtree. The shoes ran $25 a pair, which, back then, was a month's rent and what my dad earned in a week. I was embarrassed as the only kid around wearing "brogans", and went through several pairs, but the shoes worked. They straightened my crooked feet, which are normal to this day.

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