Schuh took home the top accolade at Drapers’ Footwear & Accessories Awards 2013, beating stiff competition from Office, Aldo and Clarks to win Multiple Footwear Retailer of the Year.
Last year the business grew through store openings and international expansion as well as launching its own kidswear fascia, and is on track to deliver its highest profit ever after notching up sales of £180m in the first three quarters of 2012/13.
It was also praised for retaining its identity after being bought out by US retail giant Genesco.
Among the night’s other winners were Primark, which took home Best Accessories Offer in a High Street Fashion Multiple, while New Look picked up Best Footwear Offer in a High Street Fashion Multiple.
Richard Wharton, whose 20-year stint as managing director of Office revolutionised the business from market stall to multimillion-pound retailer, was awarded Outstanding Contribution to the Footwear Industry.
Wharton, who is also credited with making Converse the success it is today in the UK, celebrated his win among his industry peers at the ceremony, which was hosted by TV presenter Jameela Jamil at London’s Grosvenor House hotel.
Footwear designer Kat Maconie was awarded Footwear Designer of the Year as judges praised her “creative and commercial” designs, while the equivalent award for accessories went to Blythe Harris, creative director of jewellery brand Stella & Dot.
Brazilian footwear brand Melissa won Women’s Footwear Brand of the Year and Cheaney was crowned Men’s Footwear Brand of the year. The Cambridge Satchel Company picked up Accessories Brand of the Year.
Caroline Nodder, editor-in-chief of Drapers, said: “Winning a Drapers Footwear & Accessories Award is the highest accolade for anyone working in that part of the industry and I’m proud to have been able to recognise the sector’s leading lights for the creativity, innovation and sheer talent they have
demonstrated even as the industry faces some of its toughest trading ever.
“Well done to all our winners, you should be rightly proud of this amazing achievement.”
For the first time, the event was officially supported by trade body The British Footwear Association.