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Footwear-FEB21-P28-30 Retailer of Month_Footwear_Jan10_p30 22/02/2021 14:23 Page 29


How do you select your products – which criteria do you use / what are your customers looking for? Our number one priority is the health of children’s feet. This requires the shoes to be anatomically shaped and have flat and flexible sole units allowing children’s feet to move and develop as they naturally should.


How has Covid-19 impacted your business? Tell us about your experiences, the difficulties you have encountered and how you have managed/are managing/trying to overcome these? Covid-19 delayed the opening of our shop which was originally planned for the beginning of April 2020. We put everything on pause and focused on family whilst watching and waiting. Following Government guidelines, we slowly,


in our own time, finished the shop fit and prepared for opening. We also prioritized setting up a Facebook shop which went live at the end of April. We were finally able to open the physical shop on the 15th June, as were other non-essential businesses.


We, as a family had become frustrated at how hard it had become to


find healthy footwear in shops to be able to try on. The brands that we favoured are only available in few bricks and mortar shops around the midlands and with the decline of shoe shops in the local area, it felt like a children’s shoe shop would be fulfilling a need.


Where are your premises located and how many people do you employ? Tell us about your shop, the local area, your customers and their requirements? I am currently the only employee of the business. We hope that in the future the business would generate enough to take on members of staff from the local area We are located in the Old Post Office Yard, Bingham which is a great


site hosting 9 independent businesses offering something for everyone. Bingham is a small market town located 11 miles outside of Nottingham, on the edge of the Vale of Belvoir. It continues to grow in size and popularity and in recent years was voted one of the best places in the UK to raise a family. We've been open since mid June and have had customers from all over


Nottinghamshire come to visit us which had been incredibly encouraging and appreciated.


What is your favourite brand/manufacturer and why? I really love PaperKrane, they are an Australian footwear company and I was excited to bring their shoes to the UK, they are great quality healthy shoes for children and their designs are SO Much fun!


What’s selling well? Any particular trends? Which are your best selling footwear brands – and why? Bobux is a brand that sells consistently. They cater for babies and children up to a junior 1.5 and offer a beautiful range of quality footwear. Over the summer their Grass Court trainer was one of our best sellers, they’re great as they are the perfect all-round shoe for a child so they work for playing in the park but are classic in style so also go with most outfits and most importantly they fit most foot shapes. With Autumn winter stock just recently arrived I’ve seen the fantastic


Grass and Air wellies flying out of the door. They change colour in response to water so are great fun and encourage children to play outdoors in all weathers. What I loved about them was the flexibility and flatness of the sole unit. Wellies aren’t generally the most comfortable things to wear but the way these are constructed will allow your child to play for longer offering a healthy environment for their little feet!


Our leap of faith was tested during this time as we were paying rent on our unit with very little to no income and I had given up my previous job as a cleaner to focus on the shop leaving our family with one income.


Do you have an online shop/website and do you use social networking for business? Was this active during the lockdown? We set up a Facebook shop @noblelionfootwear in April in order to launch our business and get people aware of our presence in the local area. This did generate some sales for us during lockdown and it was great to be able to help people whose children had outgrown their shoes in that period. Our instagram account @noblelionfootwear enabled us to interact with a wider audience resulting in us sending shoes as far as Lebanon and Australia I decided to build my own website, which was a huge learning curve but


really rewarding. It launched in November and has meant that we have been able to trade through local and national lockdowns. Visit us now at www.noblelionfootwear.co.uk.


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 • FOOTWEAR TODAY


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