How important is shoe fitting to your business? Are you or any of your staff members of the Society Of Shoe Fitters? Shoe Fitting is incredibly important in our business. We sell shoes that could be with our customers potentially ‘for life’, so it is vital we offer the best advice, the. Most honest advice and hopefully our customers can make and informed and best decision. I tell my customers often that they come into our store to find a shoe that they like, and it is my job to find a shoe that they like that fits them very well. We are not yet members of the Shoe Fitters Society, but it is something we may look at in the future.

Does your shop sell other items besides footwear, bags, gloves, tights, socks, below the ankle products? We also stock Socks by Viyella and Wigwam, and luggage and accessories by Loake and Fairfax and Favor.

Do you use an EPOS (retail technology) system in your shop? We don’t currently use an Epos system.

Any tips on stock offers, novel ideas for clearing lines or advice for independent shoe retailers who might be feeling the pinch? Service Service Service! Always offer the very best, educated and informed advice possible and never, ever lie to a customer. In doing so you will gain a person’s trust. When a person trusts you they won’t mind spending their hard earned money with you. People buy from people, and a happy customer will most likely return and recommend your service. Our store is equipped with a comprehensively stocked wine cooler, so we

can offer complimentary beers, wines, whiskey and a selection of gin and tonics ! We also have soft drinks available and tea and coffee. Our customers enjoy the whole experience, of comfortable surroundings,

relaxed no rush atmosphere, best and most honest advice and complimentary drinks.

What is your favourite men’s footwear brand/manufacturer – ditto ladies/children’s brand – and why? I don’t favour one brand over another. I see the positives in every brand and product we work with and give credit where credit is due. We sell very high quality high class products that largely speak for themselves if a customer knows the product. For those that don’t……best advice and honest opinion !

How do you select your products – which criteria do you use / what are your customers looking for? Every customer can be looking for something of their own personal visual preference, so we carry a very large and diverse selection of products. We have over 200 ‘options’ on display and access to many more from. Our suppliers if required. We try to cater for most tastes, and after over 12 years in business we have a reasonable idea of what may sell, but inevitably we don’t always get it right regardless.

Which footwear/fashion shows do you attend, how do you rate them? We work 7 days each week in our store, and with no staff there is no time for fashion or footwear shows.

Do you have a favourite footwear agent you can tell us about? We have a very good working relationship with all of our suppliers, including agents,but it wouldn’t be right to single out and name individuals. I don’t know who might be reading this!

Have you always had a passion for footwear? How many pairs of shoes do you own? Do you have a favourite pair? My passion for fine footwear was born through recognising quality, class and the unique skills and attention to detail used during manufacture. Even after visiting several UK factories dozens of times, I never tire of watching our shoes being made.

Any famous customers? Yes, but a Gentleman never tells!

And, the next step? Any plans for the future, new lines, retail systems/new technology, etc.? We are actively involved with several charities. A year ago we started cleaning and polishing shoes for charity. In 12 months we raised over £4000. We have also donated goods to various charities and on our party night to celebrate our one year anniversary in our new store, we held a raffle for charity. We are planning more parties, and are also collaborating with two ‘Friends

in Business’ by holding a ‘British Brands Event’ in our store on 28th March. Working together, supporting our friends in business and doing our best to offer something different, something better in trying to revive our high street here in Doncaster. Apart from that, just to continue doing what we do, the way we do it and hope our customers and friends continue to enjoy it !

Contact: The Shoe Room Doncaster T: 01302 360985


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