How important is shoe fitting to your business? Shoe fitting is very important and with time and patience we normally make everyone happy. We know which shoes makes styles work for different sorts of feet. We often get them to try something that they wouldn't consider, sometimes it works, it just widens their choices, if not this time, maybe next.

Does your shop sell other items besides footwear, bags, gloves, tights, socks, below the ankle products? We sell lots of other things a full range of powder, socks, gloves, hats and sunglasses. An array of colourful patterned tights in the winter. Tatty Devine jewellery and their accessories range of make-up bags purses, etc.

Do you use an EPOS (retail technology) system in your shop? Yes we use a local company Epos Now. It has been a great help if a little time consuming but I think they all are.

Any difficulties/problems? Only finding new brands that other don't already stock and offer something new fun or have an edge of excitement. In tough times there is a tendency to stay safe but if you are charging a price I think people want something yes practical but some enjoyment. Even if it a contrast colour lace.

Any tips on stock offers, novel ideas for clearing lines or advice for independent shoe retailers who might be feeling the pinch? Dig in, don't think, it's not just you, everyone is feeling it. If you have the room and you feel a style is good stick with it, it may just be the wrong time for it, so no point clearing it to replace with a lesser product. A new position can make something look fresh.

Which is your favourite ladies and men’s footwear brand – and why? Personally, I love United Nude I love their fun with design. They are expensive, but offer a unique product and compared to higher end brands fair well. I love Jeffery West for men's shoes. We used to do men's but the men we had didn't justify the cost. We stocked Jeffery West their design is great taking a classic style and just giving it a twist. Great British design.

How do you select your products – which criteria do you use / what are your customers looking for? Our customers want comfortable durable shoes they can wear every day that look good. Many of our ladies once wore heels, now with age they can't. But, they don't want old lady shoes. So, colour, style, how they are cut and heel height.

Which footwear/fashion shows do you attend, how do you rate them? I go to Pure, Moda and Micam. Pure, for accessories, Moda is good to see people I can't see elsewhere and Micam is always good for ideas and inspiration. I only do a day at each, otherwise I get shoe blind and can't make any decisions.

Do you have a favourite footwear agent you can tell us about? Ashley from Fly. he has probably known me the longest and although we deal with his able assistant Ed, I always go to the stand and say “Hi”. He first visited me with a brand called Over Cube, has seen me get married have two children and change shops three times. He and Ed are always good fun.

Have you always had a passion for footwear? How many pairs of shoes do you own? Do you have a favourite pair? I love clothes shoes and handbags. I don't have as many pairs as people think, I too want shoes that I can wear everyday and that are comfortable, but I do have an archive of when I used to go out all the time. Vintage Red or Dead but my favourite is a pair of Shellys cowboy boots they were called Cristal. They are brown and zip up. I’ve had them re heeled and tipped so many times. Currently, I have a United Nude pair of sandals and I have never had a more comfortable pair of shoes

Any famous customers? All of them as they keep Imelda's going. I love if they tell me about a shoe purchase back in the day - purple suede boots from the Kings Road or red satin wedges and how they loved them. Shoes offer so many memories and seeing certain styles or feeling the joy of a new pair brings them alive. Most of our customers are so interesting creative and want to remain that way.

And, the next step? Any plans for the future, new lines, retail systems/new technology, etc.? Well, we need to go online, but that seems like a whole new business and that would take me away from what I enjoy most, buying and serving.

Contact: Imelda's

1 Guildhall Hill, Norwich NR2 1JH T: 01603 761940 Facebook and Instagram Imeldasshoeboutique Website:


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