2 staples in the Nevada community are closing after 64 years

NEVADA, Mo. – A couple of stores that have been staples in the Nevada community for more than half a century are closing their doors.

The owners of Davison’s Shoes and Verco Sporting Goods announced they’re retiring and closing up shop after 64 years in business.

They are running liquidation sales at the stores to get rid of the remaining inventory.

Release on closing

NEVADA, Mo., September 24, 2021 – Marvin and Betty Davison, owners of Davison’s Shoes and Verco Sporting Goods, have announced that they are retiring and closing their doors after nearly 64 years in business. Located in a shared storefront on the Nevada Square at 122 North Cedar, Davison’s Shoes and Verco are conducting a liquidation sale that includes shoes, boots, handbags, sporting apparel and sports equipment.

“It’s bittersweet to be closing after all of these years,” said Marvin Davison. “From the time I was a little boy, I dreamed of owning my own shoe store. Right out of high school, I took a job repairing shoes at Fort Leonard Wood, where I also studied orthopedic foot problems and learned how to adjust shoes accordingly. I held a second job at a store in downtown Waynesville, where I repaired shoes and also began selling footwear to soldiers and their families in the evenings. Soon, I was outselling the daytime employees. Two months after Betty and I were married, we opened our own shop, and we’ve been selling shoes ever since.”

Marvin and Betty were just teenagers—19 and 18 years old, respectively—when they opened their first shoe store, Nevada Shoe Store, on the Nevada Square in 1958. Soon after, in 1961, they would go on to open a second location with higher quality, fashion-forward shoes, Davison’s Shoes, the area’s only full-service shoe store.

“We wanted to provide our customers with a level of service that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else,” said Marvin. “People knew when they came to our store that they would find high quality, fashionable shoes, and that we would help them find a comfortable fit.”

Davison’s Shoes would relocate to its current location on the Nevada Square in 1971, in the space formerly occupied by Green Lantern and the Bellas-Hess catalog store. It is the last remaining family-owned shoe store within an approximately 150-mile radius, and with storage for 20,000 pairs of shoes, it has been one of the largest shoe stores in the region.

From the 1960s to the early 1980s, the Davisons’ company, Davison Enterprises, continued retail expansion across the Midwest, often opening multiple stores in the same community at different price points to reach different customers. Davison Enterprises grew to become a major regional presence in the retail shoe, apparel, and sporting goods markets, at its height, operating 96 stores in eight states. In addition to its family shoe stores, the Davisons opened concept stores, men’s and women’s apparel stores, western wear stores, as well as Verco, a regional sporting goods and institutional sales entity that supplied uniforms and sports equipment to schools across the Midwest.

As a leading member of the footwear sales industry, Marvin Davison also served as a board member of the National Shoe Retailers Association during the 1970s and 1980s.

“We certainly live in a different time from when Betty and I opened our first store. We’ve seen manufacturing shift from the United States to overseas. We’ve seen the retail landscape move from mom and pop stores to huge national and multinational chains and now online. It has been quite a journey,” said Marvin. “I’m just glad that Betty and I were able to take it together.”