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Cheryl Taylor, Editor, talks to Jake Bland of Jake Shoes Q&A:


Name: Jake Bland Shop(s): Jake Shoes


Brands: UGG, Timberland, Michael Kors, Lelli Kelly, Converse, Kickers, Vans, Fly, Yokono & Many More!


Home town: Stockport


How did you get into footwear? Tell us about your background and your current business? My parents started the company in 1975, my mum was a hairdresser who bought her own shoes from London, all her customers used to love her shoes, so on one of her London trips she visited a wholesaler and bought a few pairs. On the first day back when she put them in the window of the hairdressers she made more money from the shoes than she did cutting hair for a week, so shortly after the salon was sold and a shoe shop was opened! The shop was called Jake after me (aged 2 at the time) I have quite literally grown up in the shop and I took over control in 1998 when my parents took a year out and never returned!


32 • FOOTWEAR TODAY • AUGUST 2016


Where are your premises located and how many people do you employ? Do you have a high turnover of staff? Tell us about your shop(s), the local area, your customers and their requirements? I have two shops one in Stockport and one in Manchester city centre. Stockport is a nightmare at the moment as the town centre is undergoing major development, so roads are closed all around and all the local car parks have gone as they are being redeveloped for a new cinema restaurant complex. It will be good when its done, but we are 6 months in to an 18 month development and business is badly affected. We have around 30 staff and staff turnover is very low. All my managers


and buyers have been with me over 15 years, along with most full time staff. Saturday staff turnover is faster but even they all seem to come back and do shifts at Christmas and over summer, if they are back from uni, so I must be a fairly decent guy to work for. We have a lot of regular customers who come back year after year, it’s a sign you are getting older when you are selling school shoes to the children of customers who got their school shoes from you!


Do you have an online shop/website and do you use social networking for business? Yes we are online at www.jakeshoes.co.uk we have a full time team working on the website, it’s a very time consuming part of the business as it’s ever changing and you have to keep up with all the latest developments, but just like a physical shop, if you aren’t prepared to put the time and effort into it, it won’t be successful.


If you had asked me 15 years ago if people would buy


shoes online I would have said never but how wrong I was! We are on all of the social network sites, but more recently we’ve noticed a shift and better interaction from our customers on the likes of Instagram as it’s far more visual than other social networks and people seem to take much more of an interest in creative visuals than a text based post.


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