Iconic shoe retailer abruptly closing after 114 years with short Facebook announcement and instructions for customers

A BELOVED shoe store is closing after serving the same community for 114 years.

It’s been a shocking week for fans of Bennie’s Shoes in Atlanta.

Bennie's Shoe Store is closing after 100 years in Atlanta


Bennie’s Shoe Store is closing after 100 years in AtlantaPhoto credit: Getty

The retailer announced last week that the shoe store was ready to say goodbye after 114 years in business.

Starting September 30th, shoppers will have to find a new place to shop for their shoes.

“After 114 years in business, we here at Bennie’s are sad to say that we will be closing permanently at the end of the month,” the company said in a Facebook post.

The store went on to say that those whose shoes are awaiting repair should come by and pick them up.

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Additionally, Bennie’s is offering a liquidation sale with 10 to 20 percent off already discounted shoe prices.


Bennie’s first made a name for itself in Atlanta when it opened in 1909 as Bennie Shemaira’s shoe repair shop.

Bennie was an immigrant from Greece who landed in America when he was just 16 years old.

While the store changed locations a few times, it spent several years at its current location at 2625 Piedmont Road.

It was in the 1970s that Bennie’s began selling shoes instead of just repairing them, but sales quickly increased, making the business even more successful.

By 1995, the store was considered one of the best men’s shoe stores in the South.

Bennie’s grandson Mark Shemaria now runs the store but had to share the disturbing news with fans of the famous shoe store.

“It’s over for us,” Mark Shemaria said, according to Footwear News. “Everyone who had stores like mine went under. We’ve outlasted several independent shoe stores, but I’m just the last one standing.”

Bennie’s Shoes was just one of several retailers hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Since 2020, the store’s business is still down 85 percent and it has been difficult to keep up with the lease, Mark said.

“I lost my lease, so that’s it,” he said. “Enough is enough.”

According to Mark, a mix of retail and economic changes is ultimately why Bennie’s Shoes hasn’t been able to stay open.

“Men don’t buy shoes in stores like they used to. All shoe manufacturers now have their own websites and can afford to sell the products at a cheaper price than I can buy them for my stores,” said the owner. “I can’t keep up with that.”

After losing top brands Ecco and New Balance, Bennie’s Shoes struggled even more to stay afloat.


Hundreds more stores have been forced to close as consumers shift to online shopping and inflation keeps spending down.

The Children’s Place closed its Brooklyn, New York location after announcing it would close 100 of its 600 remaining stores this year.

The closures will also result in a 17 percent reduction in personnel.

Around 300 stores have closed since 2019.

Many large pharmacy chains are also affected by the consequences.

Rite Aid is closing five stores in three states this month.

“Like all retailers, we regularly review each of our locations to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers, communities and the wider business,” a company spokesperson said.

“We take the decision to close a store very seriously and are based on a variety of factors, including business strategy, leasing and rental considerations, local business conditions and profitability, as well as store performance.”

Meanwhile, CVS is closing on September 26 in Albany, New York.

And on September 28, another store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is scheduled to close.

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Another popular fashion brand closed its doors in New Jersey as the retail apocalypse raged on.

You can also find the full list of stores closing this month here.

Aila Slisco

Aila Slisco is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: ailaslisco@dailynationtoday.com.

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