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Walk The Dogfish, Norwich

East Anglian shoppers can step out in style thanks to the Dogfish business’s slick new footwear store

Men’s young fashion independent Dogfish and its womenswear counterpart Catfish have been joined on the Norwich retail scene by footwear store Walk The Dogfish.

The 400sq ft store, which reopened in April as a footwear shop after the closure of the Dogfish business’s kidswear outlet Monkeyfish, stocks a mix of young fashion and classic footwear labels including New Balance, Creative Recreation, TST and Loake.

One True Saxon and Converse are next on the hit list, says co-owner Nick Snell who, along with Robin Norton, runs the Dogfish business, which consists of five stores in Norwich and Cambridge. “I’m really proud of it. It looks as though we have got it right in terms of how to retail footwear,” says Snell.

“It is in line with the ethos behind all of our shopfits: a fusion of simplicity and quality, which creates a slick environment that is also comfortable and accessible. Walk The Dogfish is a good example of that and it’s our most grown-up look to date.”

A French-inspired, crumple-effect wallpaper in charcoal grey contrasts with the bright orange walls, while the product - which is merchandised by brand - sits on clean, glass shelves.

With no freestanding fixtures, shoppers are given plenty of room to walk around the store. “I don’t like it when there’s too much crammed in like in some young fashion footwear stores. Here, there’s a more premium feel,” says Snell, who adds that the strategy has paid off, particularly for more expensive brands, which are flying off the shelves.

Snell says the upmarket feel of the footwear store will be channelled through to the ready-to-wear shops, with contemporary brands including Acne’s Pop range, King Krash and Bolongaro Trevor on Snell’s radar for spring 10.

The Dogfish business is well established in its twin heartlands of Norwich and Cambridge - both towns have a Catfish and Dogfish store. The original Dogfish opened in Norwich 17 years ago.

Snell says Norwich has changed in terms of the speed with which it adopts new trends. “There’s a very cool art school here and those guys are on it as quickly as anyone,” he says. “It all filters through much quicker. In that respect the area is more on the pulse - that has changed since we first opened.”

What does not change is the team’s approach to its customers. “We get them in here aged from 16 to 60,” says Snell. “You can’t get it right all the time, but we have a reputation for being a friendly bunch. We don’t jump on the customers, we let them enjoy the store.”

Essentials

400sq ft Size of the shop floor at Walk The Dogfish
Three Months since the store opened
Five Number of stores in the Dogfish business

  • Walk The Dogfish 6 Bedford Street, Norwich

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