Family owned and operated since 1978.
Shoe Center started in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 1978 by Gladys Pearce, a woman with a vision for owning a small business and bringing quality footwear to her hometown community. Along the way she integrated dance footwear for the many locals and visitors to the area where the shag dance originated. Gladys and her husband, Ray, operated the family owned business until 1998 when Michael (Mike) Parnell of Greensboro, North Carolina purchased Shoe Center.
As the new owner and President, Mike utilized his shoe industry expertise and many years of experience to maintain the original Shoe Center concept and expand the business to include major shoe lines with a threefold focus on comfort, dance, and fashion footwear. Shoe Center coined the slogan “Your Shag Shoe Headquarters” where a large inventory of dance shoes for men and women could be found. Likewise Shoe Center became known for “Comfort, Dance, Fashion for Men and Women” with brands such as Dansko, Merrell, New Balance, Alegria, Klogs, OluKai, Sperry, Brass Boot, Johnston and Murphy, Bass, Sanuk, TicTacToe, Coast, SoDanca, Taos, Vaneli, Onex, Italian Shoe Makers, Propet, Jambu, and more. Shoe Center continues its quality product inventory, is known for being competitively priced, and is recognized for its exceptional customer service.
Shoe Center’s owner, Mike Parnell, believes in supporting its community of customers. Shoe Center supports local charities, gives back to its customers with shoe give-a-ways, and hosts free customer appreciation concerts in the North Myrtle Beach store parking lot during spring and fall SOS events featuring current artists such as Jim Quick and Coastline, The Entertainers, The Rick Strickland Band, and Gary Lowder and Smokin' Hot. In 2015 and 2016, Shoe Center was nominated by the Carolina Beach Music Awards in the category of Concert Series of the Year. Since 2010 Shoe Center can be found “on the road” at dance events in an effort to bring shoes to customers in their home communities and support their local fundraising efforts.
In 2007 Shoe Center added a web presence with shagshoes.com for online purchases of shoes for shag dancing, ballroom dancing, square dancing, and more. Comfort and fashion shoes were added to the webstore beginning in 2010.
In 2012 with the project leadership of son, Justin Parnell (10 years in the footwear industry), and wife, Ginger Parnell (former educator with 39 years in education), Shoe Center expanded and opened its second location in Leland, North Carolina, Villages at Brunswick Forest, in the greater Wilmington, North Carolina area. Shoe Center, Leland, added brands to its inventory such as Keen, UGG Australia, Naot, Rainbow, and Bussola along with other shoe products including Superfeet premium insoles and PediFix foot products. As part of the store opening in Leland, Shoe Center launched its new logo reflecting Comfort, Dance, Fashion for Men and Women and embarked on creating a social media campaign in Summer 2013. Wife, Ginger Parnell, joined the business full time in 2013 after training in Pedorthics at the Robert M. Palmer, M.D. Institute of Biomechanics in Elwood, Indiana, in order to better service Shoe Center’s customers by understanding the biomechanics of the foot, foot pathologies, and proper footwear fit.
Mike Parnell continues the family tradition of small business ownership with day-to-day involvement in all aspects of Shoe Center business but especially in working directly with the customers on the sales floor. Emphasis on customer service with quality comfort, dance, and fashion footwear for men and women at a competitive price remains the hallmark of the business.