AS THE Bell Street Mall changes around them, Ian and Rona McLaughlan work hard to keep their store the same as years gone by. Since 1958, the doors of McLaughlan Comfort Shoes have been opened every day to serve customers “the old fashioned way”. The warm orange walls, covered up by towers of shoe boxes, houses unchanged decor and vintage furniture which has filled the space since day one.
It has been 60 years since Mr McLaughlan’s father made it his mission to welcome Heidelberg West shoppers inside for comfortable shoes and a helping hand. Since purchasing the shop in 1973, Mrs McLaughlan said they had dedicated themselves to the store and its values.
“We’re a family business which is a little bit different to modern shops of today,” she said. “We pride ourselves on service and providing an oldfashioned fit up.”
Mrs McLaughlan told Leader they are most proud of their loyal customers, who have been dropping into the store for over 50 years. While she previously worked in the fashion industry, she said the store put comfort above all else.
“We’re all about comfort in shoes and we’re doing really well because it keeps our customers happy,” she said. Working alongside a few other staff, the loving couple said they can’t imagine ever closing their family heirloom.
“I think they’ll have to carry us out of here because we really enjoy the shop and still love the Mall,” Mrs McLaughlan said. McLaughlan Comfort Shoes stocks footwear for adults and children, with a range of work and school shoes available.