Shipton & Heneage is looking to open its sixth store after sales grew by 10% year-on-year to £2.2 million.
The classic footwear independent, which specialises in selling traditional Northamptonshire-made styles for men and women, said its “debt-free” position meant it was defying the retail slowdown and planned to look for its sixth shop in London’s West End or the City after Christmas.
Co-founder James Cookson said: “We are not that worried about the credit crunch. We set the business up when we were going through the last recession and no one would lend us any money back then, and it’s turned out that we didn’t need it.
“Two or three years ago people approached us to buy the business and do all sorts of wonderful things with it, but we felt we weren’t quite ready yet and we’re still not quite ready. There are lots of things we want to do.”
Shipton & Heneage has two store in London, in Fulham and Battersea, one in Crieff in Scotland plus two shops in Paris. It also has a significant mail order and internet operation, which generates the largest proportion of its sales. It prints 250,000 catalogues for the UK market each year and a similar number for shoppers in the US.
The business was founded 18 years ago to offer traditional English-made shoes to wealthy middle-aged men. All of the footwear stocked is branded Shipton & Heneage. Retail prices in the UK range from £129 to £209.
As well as classic English styles, the retailer also stocks some Italian-made loafers and slippers.