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How are you finding the footwear market currently? Our biggest challenge has been getting our name out, as our market are not the greatest users of social media although they do find us on supplier websites. Customer service is key to everything and our customers love the time we spend to measure and make sure everything is just right.


What’s selling well? Any particular trends? Which are your best selling footwear brands – and why? We’ve had great success with all our brands whom all have a place in our range. Our customers just wish we had more styles with a darker sole on everything!


How important is shoe fitting to your business? Are you or any of your staff members of the Society Of Shoe Fitters? This is critical to our business and increasingly we feel it should be for all footwear traders. All our full time staff in our stores are Society of Shoefitters trained as issues/conditions are now so commonplace and need the expertise the training gives. We work as closely as we can with podiatrists and foot specialists on a


local level but as Vice President of the Society, I am keen to forge these links on a national level to support all footwear stores across the country. We need to work together and recommend each other - not just for comfort footwear but even for boutiques offering footwear for those special events in our lives. Knowing your shoes, understanding feet and being able to advise I think is


paramount for all to survive. Customer service is key to everything - by knowing what works for what feet you can talk confidently, get the sale and repeat business!


Does your shop sell other items besides footwear, bags, gloves, tights, socks, below the ankle products? We have decided to keep our offering focused to shoes, but we do have a Pedagram from Pedag/Euroleathers which we use for off the shelf orthotics and a range of fantastic shock absorbing insoles from Enertor.


Do you use an EPOS (retail technology) system in your shop? We have tried a few different systems over the years but we find FashionE from Mode Retail is certainly the best to accommodate all the options we need with width fittings and colours with a great report suite too.


Any difficulties/problems? Just not enough time in the day to fit everything in!


Any tips on stock offers, novel ideas for clearing lines or advice for independent shoe retailers who might be feeling the pinch? We have come to find that unless you have a massive Sale, it’s all down to timing.


What is your favourite men’s footwear brand/manufacturer – ditto ladies/children’s brand – and why? We can honestly say that we are pleased with all our brands, but we just love the happiness and instant pain relief customers get from Joya Shoes and the joy we bring to our older customers with our range of DB Shoes.


How do you select your products – which criteria do you use / what are your customers looking for? We are still finding our feet (no pun intended) as everyone has a different view on what is stylish. Primarily we choose comfort, removable foot beds and a mix of styles to cover all needs.


Which footwear/fashion shows do you attend, how do you rate them? We enjoy Moda when looking for new brands and to see industry trends. As time is precious we may look to do more buying at trade shows as its time effective and reduces the risk of duplication of styles.


Do you have a favourite footwear agent you can tell us about? We have had great support from all our agents but the passion, attitude and knowledge from Tim Dowle and the Joya team has been refreshing.


Have you always had a passion for footwear? How many pairs of shoes do you own? Do you have a favourite pair? More than anything I love the effect that shoes have on the wearer - improving confidence, comfort, pain relief and happiness etc... My personal collection has certainly increased since opening this store - I mean you have to road test your wears and in all colours, don’t you?!


Any famous customers? Only the ‘infamous’ locals - we're sure every store has their own.


And, the next step? Any plans for the future, new lines, retail systems/new technology, etc.? For now we find ourselves looking forward to the next season as we expand our range. We have new customers daily through recommendations and referrals so we will keep that momentum going!


Contact: Footscape Shoes 30 Camp Rd, Farnborough, GU14 6EW T: 01252 522955 E: info@footscape-shoes.co.uk W: www.footscape-shoes.co.uk


AUGUST 2019 • FOOTWEAR TODAY


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