Find out what’s selling now in mainstream footwear
Caroline French, owner of WJ French & Son in Southampton
Sebago’s deck shoes (£110-£120) – part of its 70th anniversary collection in collaboration with Liberty London – are selling really well. They have been very popular, giving everyone instant joy with their lovely bright pops of colour. Business has been far better than last year and, with the sun out, Vionic flip-flops (£50-£60) have also been top sellers, as the sandal’s built-in arch support has gone down very well with customers who still want support from a summer shoe. In terms of slightly more sensible shoes, Gabor’s Splendid black court shoes (£80) have also had really positive sales. Although figures are far better than last year, we are still looking forward to seeing what happens after our Sale.
Ollie Holmes, assistant manager of George Goddard in King’s Lynn, Norfolk
We recently had a bit of a re-positioning within the shop, with our footwear now set up under a more rustic backdrop, and since then we’ve seen footwear sales on the definite rise. There’s a very strong following for the brand Loake in our area, with their tan Fernley brogues being especially popular, generally selling for about £165. Ted Baker shoes still sell very well, the Joehal 2, tan suede lace-up shoes (£108) being most sought after, although we are finding that many customers who used to be Ted Baker men are favouring Loake a little more. Barker brogues are also very prevalent, although more classic in style at a slightly high price point; the Cedar calf and paisley laser-cut full brogues in leather (£220) are the most popular style among our clientele.
Vicky Alder, chairman of Macsamillion of Oxford
We have a men’s and a women’s shop, although we find the men’s is always slightly more profitable, as women’s shoes are far more seasonal, so there bigger mark-downs come Sale time, which starts in the last week of June. In men’s, Loake has been very popular, as customers really like the lightweight leather, the Fernley lace-up brogue (£165) in particular being a top seller. In women’s, we’ve seen the Gabor Toe Post sandals from its Jollys range (£60) flying out the door. The French brand Arche has also been popular in the ladies’ shop, with its wedged ballet flat, Ceoze (£139), again being one of our most popular sellers.
Rosemary Gray, manager of O&C Butcher in Aldeburgh, Suffolk
Shoe sales are definitely dominated by the weather, and sandals are the best sellers in both children’s and women’s at the moment, Ricosta Biff sandals from the children’s range being the most popular with parents at £36 to £48, and Rieker strappy, open-toed sandals (£49) being the most popular within the women’s ranges. Waldlӓufer again sells well with older customers, who like the lightweight quality of the shoe; the Whitney black suede Mary-Janes generally sell the most within that brand – our customers always opt to stay loyal to the well-established names they know and trust.
Steven Hughes, owner of Peter Hughes Footwear in Holywell, Flintshire
We always have a good run with Clarks, the Originals (£85-£90) and the Somerset (£55) being the bestsellers within the brand and, now the sun’s out, Rieker’s strappy, open-toed sandals (£49) are picking up too, having been very popular with the ladies. We find our customers are very loyal to recognised and reliable brands, such as Skechers Go Walk 2 (£50-£68), which have both the comfort and the style that many people are after.
Mark Blaylock, manager of R Blaylock & Sons in Swindon, Wiltshire
May was a really good month for us, although the first week of June dipped slightly, and, with it being half-term, it’s always quite difficult to tell which way it will go – it’s either really busy or really quiet. The sun has meant, however, that Rieker sandals (£50) have been a bestseller – people like the open-toed styles – and the Hotter Chile shoe (£65) has been selling just as well, with customers opting for a lightweight shoe in the hotter weather. In men’s, Barker brogues are always up there, with the slightly dressier McClean (£220) shoe being what most people opt for.
Ian Smith, general manager of Ridgways in Newton Abbot, Devon
Josef Seibel’s Lisa 0.1 sandals have been a top seller within the women’s ranges, with Rieker strappy sandals with an open toe going down well with our customers, although the consumer confidence in the area has been questionable at the moment. The warmer weather did kick off trade, but the fact that it’s been overcast for the past few days has had an effect on business. Skechers Go Walk 2 (£49) and 3 (£57) have also been popular, and we are going to be in the process of updating our website in the upcoming months, so there are more positives to come.
Josef Seibel Lisa
Rebecca Ingram, sales assistant at R C Cotton & Sons in Oundle, Northamptonshire
As a shoe store, we are pretty weather-dependent, so last week and this week have really picked up in sales. We’ve seen Gabor selling very well, with its Splendid court shoe (£65) in patent navy being especially popular, and Rieker open-toed sandals (£49.99) again being sought after by our clientele. Josef Seibel trainer-like, lace-up Caspian 14 shoes have also been a top seller, and over here in Oundle we are all looking forward to the annual food festival on July 16, as it always brings some good business and a lovely atmosphere along with it.
Compiled by Eleanor Codlin