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Gary's Shoes & Accessories For Today's Woman (commonly referred to as Gary's Shoes) is the women's shoe store which is located in the New Market Mall. It is owned by Gary, and is noted to be her only failing business venture, and has been in business since at least its most notable employee, Al Bundy, graduated from high school.

The store rarely sees business as Al's disposition is absolutely wretched, aside from the occasional fat woman, and the numerous get rich quick schemes that Al and his friends, Griff, who also works in the shoe store with him from Season 9 on, Jefferson D'Arcy, who briefly worked in the store in Season 6, and his other NO MA'AM buddies seem to dream up!

Description[]

As the name states, the store is focused exclusively on women's shoes and accessories. On display are shoes ranging from boots to flats to high heel shoes. The accessories that are also sold there appear to be purses, which can seen near the cash register, scarfs, belts, shoe inserts, and hosiery.

The shoes are noted to be of cheap quality and appear to come from different sources. In one episode, Al mentions that he returned 20,000 pesos worth of them to "Le Crappe Shoe Distributor" (a play on "Crappy Shoe") , but had to get them back before Gary arrived.[1] In another episode, the shoes appear to be made by children at a sweatshop also owned by Gary. The shoes made there are made under the brand label, "Happy Soles Footwear" [2]. Though, Al also mentioned that the shoes they had on display were made by Filipino orphans after Gary planned to donate some old inventory to those same orphans.[3]

Its nearest competitor is Babcock's Shoes, which is also located in the mall and run by Floyd Babcock. It appears to be significantly popular, as groups of women flock to his store and they also carry shoes that Gary's doesn't. Gary's and Babcock's have been competing with each other for over 20 years as Al noted. [4].

It was also mentioned by Peggy during Season 2 that there is another shoe store named Morty's that competes with Gary's in the mall. After a trio of girls from the next door aerobics studio visit Gary's and Al flirts with them, Peggy suggest that the ladies go to Morty's instead, as the shoe salesmen there are younger and cuter. Later the three ladies walk arm in arm with Morty and wave to Al as he and his family prepare to sleep in the shoe store.[5]

History[]

Although it is never stated when exactly the store first open, it can be assumed that it has been in operation at least since the 1960s, as Al began working there while in high school as a part time summer job to pay off his Dodge[6] and buy a new carburetor for it as well[7]. He has specified in one episode that he was still a rookie shoe salesman in the winter of 1968. [8]. But in "I Who Have Nothing", he specifcically stated that he has worked for 25 years and as that episode took place in 1991, that meant he has been working since 1966. It also appears that his mom made him take the job at the shoe store, despite his pleas of not wanting to work there. [9] She convinced him to take it, saying that he should think of it as a stepping stone and he may someday be the president of his own company.

Despite saying that it would only be a temporary summer job, he has been there for over 20 years[1][4]. He appeared to be stuck with the job following Peggy's pregnancy with Kelly, as he was unable to go to college following a knee injury during a football game. He appears to be the most senior employee and more often than not, the only employee there.

In "'Tis Time to Smell the Roses" Al takes up an offer for early retirement from the store. After being forced to cut his retirement short and take up management at another shoe store, he becomes inspired to buy a shoe store. Though he misses the opportunity thanks to Peg's laziness and also reveals that the person who bought the store Al wanted also bought Gary's Shoes and hired Al back on the basis that there aren't many guys "with 20 years experience who will work for minimum wage". So, this could infer that the store has been owned by multiple people named Gary throughout the show's run (as the last Gary isn't introduced until season 9 and a different Gary, named Gary Patterson, was believed to have died in a plane crash in season 1, meaning either Gary's widow or someone else named Gary took over during season 2 - 7) or this was an error made by the writers.

As well as being a shoe store, it has also been used as a meeting hall during its off hours.

  • It was used by the group, BAD (Bald American Dudes), when Al and Steve thought they were going bald.[10]
  • Following the addition of Griff as Al's co-worker / fellow NO MA'AM brother, the store also served as a secondary meeting location for Al and the core members at Christmas[11].
  • It also became a courtroom when Al was taken hostage and put on trial by several of the fat women he had insulted over the past 11 seasons.[12]
  • Bud used it for a calendar shoot[4]
  • It also became a tempoary hotel for the Bundys in "The Great Escape".
  • After finding boxes full of shoes from the 1970s that he had hidden in the wall, Jefferson convinces Al that they can make money, since the fashion trends of the 1970s were coming back in style during the 1990s. The store is temporarily renamed to "Al Bundy's House of Sole" and sees a massive uptick in customers, until a model who wore a pair of their shoes fell off a runway, causing the customers in the store to walk out and ruin Al and Jefferson's dreams of fortune.
  • At one point realizing that the reason women can come in there and breast-feed (among other things Al finds repulsive) is because Gary's is distinctly a shoe store designed to cater to women, Al turns the place into a men's shoe store--Gary's Shoes & Accessories For Today's Man (removing the "wo" on the signs). Until Gary comes in to set things back the way they were and make the store even more female-friendly (including making it more a place where they can breast-feed).
  • Presumably Gary has kept the doors open down through the years as some manner of tax write-off or similar, since Al and his associates hardly ever shift any stock.
  • In the first part of the Spring Break, two-parter, Al and Griff do sell-out the store.
  • Al Bundy recurring gag in the store where he insults or rude to women customers that he scares off and how he end up with a low wage salary and losing the store money.


Married... with Children NOW Comics[]

In the comic, the store is owned by Gary Smedly, a short, bald man with glasses and a short temper. Unlike Gary in the television series, Mr. Smedly has his own office in the store. The store is also shown to be a stand alone business instead of being located within the New Market Mall and located next to "Pop's" Wilder' Tattoo Heaven.

Series 1 (1990)[]

In the second issue, "Viva Las Bundys", Steve visits the store to talk to Al after their wives become upset with them. After Al insults a fat lady who claims that she will call the manager, Steve laughs and points out that Al actually is the manager. Steve then tells Al about a shoe salesman contest with the prize being a trip to Las Vegas. Later, Bud and Kelly help out at the store by bringing in a drunk musician named Snakeface with a sign that reads "Free Snakeface Autograph with Purchase", causing a large influx of customers to arrive and clear the shoe store out of its inventory.

Series 2 (1991)[]

In the first issue, The Love Line, Al is shown to have 3 unnamed co-workers in the backroom after he tells them about the latest fat woman who came into the store. After they point out the success of radio personality, Madame X, Mr. Smedly comes in and wonders why they're all in the backroom instead of the salesfloor, with Al claiming that they are actually doing market research. Later, Smedly gets upset after hearing that Madame X gave advice to his wife on the radio and after finding out that Madame X is Al's wife, he tells her to get her off the radio or he'll have to fire Al.

In the third issue, Psychodad, Bud ends up working at the store after Al suffers a foot injury, forcing him to stay home and watch reruns of Psycho Dad during his recovery. Under Mr. Smedly's tutelage, Bud helps the store become very profitable, which forces Mr. Smedly to fire Al. After Al goes crazy and plots out a way to kill his family, (only to be stopped by Psycho Dad himself during Al's state of delusion), he begs Mr. Smedly for a second chance and then competes with Bud in a sales competition to get his job back. Bud remains in the lead until he sees Al on the verge of going insane again, causing him to have a change of heart and let Al take the win.

From Baltic to Boardwalk[]

Al is shown dealing with fat women, noisy children and a demanding boss at the shoe store. After he wins the lotto, he immediately reigns in front of Gary and then drops his pants to moon him.

Known Employees[]

Current:

  • Al Bundy
  • Griff - Al's only consistant co-worker from season 9 onward.

Former:



References[]

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