The king of consolidation in the value footwear sector was no less active in 2008 than 2007, which saw him take over Shoefayre.
Smith’s 2008 shopping list included the rescue of Stead & Simpson, which collapsed into administration at the start of the year. He now controls 825 footwear stores and has sales of £270 million annually.
Smith’s long-term plans for Stead & Simpson appear to be to create a slightly better quality version of Shoe Zone with leather product but still with value prices.
Smith is likely to be less active next year as he gets to grips with his huge portfolio. He has already worked his way through a large store closure programme this year, where he had competing stores in close proximity.