A shoe store that has done business in the Columbus market just over two decades — referring to itself as “The Home of Happy Feet” — is preparing to close its doors on Saturday, with a larger footwear chain called Shoe Station filling the vacated 14,000-square-foot space.
Burnham Shoes at 2521 Airport Thruway in The Landings shopping center will be making its final sale just before its 5 p.m. closing on Saturday, employees confirmed Monday. The business recently has been running a sale of 30 percent to 50 percent off.
The Dothan, Ala.-based shoe company also is closing its only other location in Dothan, an employee there confirmed Monday. She said those with Burnham, including owner Sybil Burnham, did not wish to comment.
An advertisement on the Dothan Eagle website says the store there at 3811 Ross Circle Drive is closing because it has lost its lease and that “prices are slashed” and “everything has to go.”
Burnham Shoes has been operating more than 40 years, according to its one-page website, offering dress and casual shoes, along with work, hunting and casual boots.
The Columbus store relocated from its 8,400-square-foot Gentian Boulevard location to its current Airport Thruway site in 2003. It had been on Gentian since 1994.
“It will enable us to present our goods in a much better manner and fashion than what we've been able to,” Harold Burnham, the now-deceased former owner of the shoe store, said of the new location in a 2003 Ledger-Enquirer interview. “It also will make it easier for the people to shop in there. It will definitely enable us to carry more depth in some of our lines, as well as some new lines in there, too.”
As Burnham Shoes exits Columbus, Mobile, Ala.-based Shoe Station confirmed Monday it will be taking the former Burnham space on or about Nov. 1.
Shoe Station Executive Vice President Brent Barkin said the Columbus location will be the 20th for the company founded in 1984 by his late father, Terry Barkin. It has locations in five states.
“We’re bringing in quite a lot of new goods,” said Barkin, noting the Nov. 1 opening date is a bit flexible because of the renovations that will take place on the Burnham space, including new shelves, carpets and lights.
“We’re a similar format to Burnham,” he said. “We’re both an open-shelf concept. We’ve also been fairly healthy competition for about 15 years in Dothan. So it’s kind of a natural for us to take their spot. We’ve looked around Columbus for quite some time and this spot was a good one and we were able to work something out both with the landlord and the Burnhams.”
Barkin said Shoe Station will continue to carry some of the comfort and European brands that Burnham had, as well as bring additional brands into the market. That includes Nike and Under Armour. There will be apparel and children’s shoes as well.
The executive said the Shoe Station store will employ about 20 full- and part-time at the Columbus location. He said the company plans to interview those Burnham employees who may wish to stay at The Landings location.