It’s over fifty years since Peter and Eileen Donaghy opened their first shop in 1960 at 81 Newry Street Banbridge. As the business grew they moved twice to larger premises and their shop at 25-31 Newry Street is now Northern Ireland’s largest shoe and sports store.
Donaghys has always prided itself on being a family business and Peter and Eileen were delighted when first their daughter Anne joined to develop Shoefair to offer up to date fashion at affordable prices.
Anne saw a gap in Banbridge for a sports store and opened Shoefair sports where one could find the best sports, leisure clothing and footwear by all the main brands.
In 1988 their son Michael joined the business and they expanded to Lisburn, Portadown and Lurgan with their Michael Phillips shoe shops.
Donaghys opened a Shoefair shop in Lisburn and in 2007 opened a clearance shop, Shoefair at the outlet was the only local independent retailer at the factory clearance centre.
In August 1998 the Banbridge store was destroyed by a car bomb but was back trading in two weeks and within a year the store was fully rebuilt. The new store was quickly recognised as one of the finest stores in Europe. In 2000 it won the UK Footwear Awards best family shoe store and independent retailer of the year.
Never one to rest on their laurels Donaghys carried out a refit of their adults department and was delighted to be declared 2009 independent footwear retailer of the year.
Sadly in 2002 Eileen Donaghy passed away after a long illness but she left behind a business based on quality, choice and above all customer care that the family have continued.
Donaghys prides itself on the fact that it’s a family run business that has built up a reputation of service and continues to look at ways to enhance the customers experience with its first shoe club being the latest development in a business that’s looking to the next fifty years.