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Mainstream Footwear Indicator, April 25, 2015

Find out what’s selling now at UK and Irish footwear independents.

Women’s

Barbara Leyland, manager of Wigley’s Shoes in Ashbourne, Derbyshire

“With its focus on the younger customer, Pikolinos’ jodhpur boots (£89.99) and slip-on brogues (£79.99) have sold well, as have Tamaris sandals (£44.99). Gabor pumps (£75) are also in demand. We’ve taken on some new brands for spring 15, including Wonders (sandals from £69.99 to £79.99) and Ellie D (£45 for espadrille mules to £49.99 for sling-backs). Both fit nicely and the prices are good.”

Caroline Miller, manager of Spencer & Penn in Fareham, Hampshire

“Our bestselling shoes are the Jill comfort pump with velcro fastening from DB Shoes (£67), as well as Hotter’s Shake dolly shoes (£69) and Glow sandals (£55). Our customers are looking for wider-fitting shoes.”

Anne Piniecki, owner of Niki-Lu’s Boots & Shoes in Rugby, Warwickshire

“Fly’s Tram slingback sandals (£85), Softinos Isis trainers (£79.99) and Think! Julia sandals (£69.99) are our bestsellers. After a three-year break we reintroduced Think! for spring 15 because it does nice styles of comfort shoes suitable for summer that customers respond well to. However, we need some good weather to sell summer shoes like sandals.”

Murdoch MacDonald, owner of Young & Co in Peebles, Scottish Borders

“We’ve sold a lot of New Balance Lifestyle trainers (£42 to £65), as well as Hotter casual slip-ons (£60 to £75) and Rieker Remonte shoes and sandals (£40 to £80). Although we are in a small town and have at least three other competing footwear stores, we stand out because we cater for a wider selection with men’s, women’s and kids’, as well as for medical condition like arthritis and swollen feet.”

Tony Whitehead, owner of Exquisite Shoes in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire

“Our customers love Gabor Gibson pumps (£80), Rieker Savannah slip-on pumps (£55), and Adesso Frankie pumps (£35). Skechers trainers are selling like hotcakes, which I put down to the brand’s advertising. They are really popular with our 60 to 80-year-old customers, rather than young people. They love the different colours.”

Martine Wilkinson, buyer at KC Shoes in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire

“We are having a great response to Gabor’s Lanzarote sandals (£60), Van Dal’s Spring pumps (£65) and Rieker trainers (£57). Customers are fed up with the high street and are looking to independent shops for something a bit different. They are also reverting to a more feminine look and thinking about how their footwear can change their outfit.”

Caroline French, manager of WJ French & Son in Southampton

“Business is slightly down on last year, probably as a result of the general economy and the competition online, where people find cheaper shoes. To compete with websites we try to offer something different, like an expert in-store fitting service. At the moment comfort shoes from Ecco (£80) and Waldläufer (£70 to £100) are our bestsellers, along with espadrilles by Toni Pons (£60).”

Men’s

Susan Stewart, manager of Herring Shoes in Kingsbridge, Devon

“Shoes from our own brand Herring are selling well, in particular the Carnaby (£195) and Rusland brogues (£275). We’re also seeing strong demand for Rieker low-top trainers (£59.99), Josef Seibel’s Klaus leather mule (£55) and Timberland waterproof Chelsea boots such as the Earthkeepers Stormbuck (£100) style. Being in a holiday destination, business is good now that the sun is shining.”

James Gillan, manager of Gillan Footwear in Ballycastle, County Antrim

“Our current bestsellers are Ecco Gore-Tex track boots (£149.99), Skechers memory foam trainers (£59.99) and Wrangler Yuma boots (£75). Business has been very quiet these past few months due to the poor weather. We haven’t added any new brands, because we’ve not been able to buy as much as in previous years as we don’t have the same budget.”

Lee Morpeth, owner of Adrian Morpeth Fine Shoes in Ripon, North Yorkshire

“Our customers are opting for Skechers Go Walk trainers (£60), Clarks sandals, such as the Vextor style (£49.99) and Crocs men’s Yukon style (£39.99). While trading was down slightly on last year, last week it picked up with the sun out and people coming into the shops again. We plan to introduce Barker Shoes (£195 to £200) for autumn 15.”

Sheila Barry, manager of Donaghys Shoes in Banbridge, County Down

“Skechers trainers (£49 to £57), Rieker leather lace-ups (£65), Clarks Vextor walnut sandals (£49.99) and trainers (£49.99 to £74.99) are all in demand. Women’s shoes mostly sell better than men’s because men only buy when they really need something, although the trendier guy will probably spend a bit more. As the weather picks up we’ll have more people coming in to buy summer styles.”

Andrew Kelly, acting manager of BJE Banks in Birmingham

“The good weather has been fantastic for our summer sales, so far. We’re selling canvas shoes and flip-flops already, which are not what you usually sell in April. We specialise in big sizes and at the moment wide-fitting styles are popular from DB Shoes (£59.95 to £75), Merrell (£49.95 to £110) and Columbia (£80 to £100).”

Lindsey Levesley, manager of Anthony Goldthorpe in Hull

“Clarks’ Swift Turn comfort shoes with a Velcro fastening (£64.99) and Salute leather lace-ups (£79.99) are our bestsellers, while Rieker shoes and sandals (£55 to 69.99) are also doing well. We are seeing demand for Skechers memory foam trainers (£49 to £57). We benefit from the fact that we’ve been in business for 31 years and have a loyal customer base. We also specialise in wide-fitting shoes, which attracts customers from across Yorkshire.”

David Dillane, owner of David Anthony’s Shoes in South Woodford, east London

“The unseasonally good weather has brought an upturn in trade. We’re selling at lot of classic formal shoes, such as Josef Seibel’s Walt lace-up (£79) and Loake’s formal lace-ups (£125 to £165). For comfort, people turn to Clarks, in particular the slip-on Swift Turn comfort shoe (£65).”

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