Find out what’s selling now in the world of footwear
Ben Renshaw Buying assistant at Stuarts London in Shepherd’s Bush, London
Saunders high-top Truckers (£190) are really popular at the moment because our customers like their classic style. Red Wing Shoes Irish Setter boots (£289) are also popular as the brand works well with other brands, which has been attracting customer attention to the range. Hugo by Hugo Boss is a really strong brand for us. It is hitting the luxury look and with its high-tops, especially the Black Futurism High Top trainers (£230). Generally, trade is good at the moment. Christmas is always a positive time of the year for our business. Men’s footwear always tends to sell particularly well in the run-up to Christmas; business in this area tends to maintain or grow year on year.
Lauren Hedley Sales assistant at Skintrade in Newport, Isle of Wight
Trainers have been trading well in store with our male customers. Old Skool Vans (£57) have been very popular of late, with customers from age 12 to mid-fifties buying these styles. The classic OX Low Converse trainers (£50-£55) sell really well. We’ve also been selling a lot of the Jameson 2 Ecos (£50-£55) from the Etnies range, which tends to attract customers aged over 30 years old as it offers a wider fitting trainer. Each of our top-selling brands sells a different style, attracting a different type of customer. Trade has been great for us and this time of year tends to be good. Christmas is definitely our busiest time of the year – December is a good month for trade.
Sarah Rutter Sales assistant at EH Spencer in Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire
The Padders ordinary lace-ups (£60) have been a bestseller for us recently. Additionally, the entire Clarks range (£60-£90) has sold well. We stock a variety of different types of footwear from the Clarks range and it proves very popular with our customers. Boots from Rieker (£59.99) have also been very popular, especially with the colder weather setting in. Business has been doing well, but it could always be better. Winter is good for trade as people always want to buy boots for the cold weather – no-one is going to be buying sandals in the winter. The town around us has recently had a couple of shops close down and, since then, we have noticed that trade is a little quieter.
John Coxon Director of Leggs in Darlington
Our bestsellers tend to be brogues. Within that category, our bestselling brands are Paolo Vandini (£95) and London Brogues (£80). Brogues have been very popular over the past five years or so now. They work well with smart and casual outfits, and go especially well with jeans, which is important as that’s what the majority of our customers are wearing. The London Brogues are really good value for money, use quality leather and have a good range. Business was doing very well until October, when trade became disappointing. Overall, trade is up and down, but we shall see if Christmas improves anything. We have lost a couple of retailers on our street recently, which makes the area less interesting. Also, customers are still worried about Brexit and inflation is creeping in, which is stretching people’s pockets. Although our product range, stock and staff are all great, we are uncertain about the run-up to Christmas because of the disappointing trade throughout October.
Eben Berj Creative director of The Mercantile London in Spitalfields Market, London
Trade has been great recently as the market and area are really changing very quickly. Hudson leather and suede boots (from £120) have been selling very well. Its simple, classic styles do very well in the winter. Also, the leather boots and suede heels from Sol Sana (from £140) have also been selling well, because there are not very many stockists across London. We have a new collaboration with Emma Go and have found that its brogues (from £160) with their varied colour combinations and unique styling have been very popular. We’ve just finished our windows for the run-up to Christmas. We aim to use the windows to stand out and keep our point of difference. Christmas is a good time for us, especially regarding our gifts and jewellery, which are great stocking fillers.
Stephen Walker Managing director of Exelby’s Shoes of Harrogate, Harrogate
Rieker boots (£60) have been selling really well, as people like the colours and the warm linings, especially in the cooler weather. The Portuguese brand Suave is doing well recently, especially the lace-ups and slip-ons (£70). Business has picked up a lot this last fortnight, with the weather getting cooler; boots start to sell really well when the weather drops. Cold and frosty mornings in particular encourage better sales. We are hoping trade continues to pick up and really gets going as Christmas gets closer. We’re a small independent so when the big department stores put on Sales it can really hit us as we have a very different operating model.
David Capon Manager of Black Truffle in Hackney, London
Our mid-heel shoes (£130) from Esska have been selling really well recently. Customers are responding to the impactful colours, and the metallic silver and mustard version that we stock has really hit the mark. The designs of our Lilimill ankle boots (£155) have proved very popular, as they look very attractive on the foot and the soft leather is very appealing. Creator high-top pumps in leather (£110) have proven very easy-going shoes that tick a lot of boxes for our customers. We have a good, steady level of trade but it is a funny time of year: it is too cold for summer shoes, but heavier footwear has been languishing on the shelves waiting for the cold snap to hit. We are really looking forward to Christmas, we get a lot of people coming in for gifts. We’ve become known as a great place for husbands or boyfriends to buy last-minute gifts for their significant others.
Andrew King Director of Du Barry in Topsham, Exeter
Josef Seibel shoes have been selling really well for us recently. The brand has launched some great ankle boots (£80-£130), which are funkier and use interesting leathers and textures. Also, shoes by the Italian brand Cefalu (£110-£180) have been really popular, particularly some leopard-print loafers. Cara has also been very popular. The funky and unusual designs from Laura Vita have been good sellers recently. Trade has been very random, with some very good periods followed by some quieter ones. Overall, things have been just about alright, but there has been a general malaise at the moment – people are just not spending enthusiastically in retail shops. Christmas should be good and it will be interesting to see the outcome from Black Friday.