Find out what’s selling now in the world of footwear
Darren Burke, director at Masdings in Newark, Nottinghamshire
Mallet trainers (£165) have been selling really well in our store recently as people love the fact that they are from (The Only Way is Essex star) Tommy Mallet and the social media buzz around that is exciting. Adidas is another strong performer. The classic trainers (£69) and special 1980s and 1990s styles (£70-£90) in particular are trading well. As a sports brand Adidas appeals to lots of customer because of its versatility. Brogues from Barker Shoes are popular too, particularly the McClean and Woody styles (around £229). Customers like that the brand is made in England and excellently constructed. Business has been all right, but the snow did affect us. The whole area where we are is doing fine, but it is quite clear to me that online business is taking trade away from shopping centres and high street retailers.
Aaron Fernandez, manager at Dogfish in Norwich
Nike Air Max trainers (around £100) are a staple with our customer base and they always sell really well. The Adidas Stan Smith trainers (£70) are another consistent seller for us, but trade fluctuates a bit more with Adidas: it tends to be super popular and then quiet for a bit, but I’m not sure why. Shoes from Clarks Originals are popular, too – especially the Wallabee and Desert boots (both around £100). The design and variety of the boots makes them appropriate footwear all year round. Trade has been a little slow recently, but mostly all right. The weekdays are always quiet for us, but we can make up for it over the weekends. I think putting impetus behind social media has really helped the store, and luckily it is boosting, rather than hindering, our in-store sales.
Chris Francis, store manager at Smiths in Scunthorpe
The Terrace and Gazelle trainers (£65-£100) from Adidas have been popular. We have big football and music cultures where we are based and this is reflected in Adidas’s styles, which our customers like. Nike Air Max trainers (£100) also sell especially well – the range of bold colours is popular, as well as the standard black and white range. People seem to really like the khaki Air Max right now. Vans is another strong performer in our store, and the Old Skool style (£55) outstrips any other product we sell. They are all over fashion blogs and the media and our customers love them. Trade has been all right for us. With the new stock coming in we are a bit between the Sale and new season stock at the moment but as the area is generally quiet and we don’t have much competition offering the same brands as we do, we do well.
Ben Hunt, director of Red Menswear in Chatham, Kent
The Jeffery-West Muse tasselled loafers (£220) have been selling well in our store – they are a really good-looking shoe. Another popular choice has been the standard brogues (£170) from Loake, which appeal to men who want classic styles. I’m not entirely sure why, considering the wet and snowy weather, but the suede summer driving shoes in dark brown (£100) have been a great seller for us. They look great and are perfect for the sunny weather, and although we haven’t had much of that yet, they are selling really well. Christmas and January were good for us, but February was exceptionally quiet, mostly as a result of the weather. But luckily things have been brilliant recently and business has been booming throughout March.
Paula Knowles, shop manager at Jacqueline’s in Sheringham, Norfolk
Rieker summer shoes (£57) and sandals (£50) are popular for us – the new stock is selling really well with our customers. We always get a really good sell-through with the Reiker range as people love the balance between comfort and style. Caprice casual pumps (£55) are also a great seller for us. They are in keeping with the casual atmosphere of the area and customers really like how comfortable and affordable the shoes are. Both Rieker and Caprice are brands perfect for the walking and trekking available in the area. Another great selling brand for our store is Earth Spirit – the winter boots (around £65) and summer sandals (from £40). At the moment, things are quiet. The snow did not help things. But overall we are doing well, and as we have no online presence it is all in-store.
Lucy Hinds, owner of Ella Cru in Shrewsbury
Kanna espadrille wedges (£90) have been selling well for us, especially the bright colours. Another strong seller has been Maruti cowhide and leather loafers (£120) – people love wearing these shoes during spring. Heels from Högl have been very popular in our store, particularly the suede and patent court heels (£139-£159). Generally, business has been a little quiet because of local roadworks and the recent snow, but I am very hopeful that things will pick up again as we always do very well during the summer months.
Peter Brassington, owner of Brassington Bros in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Predominantly, comfort shoes sell well for us. The Waldläufer pumps in black (£60-£80) are comfortable with a wide fit, which really appeals to our customers, and they have sold well recently. Another strong brand is Padders, which is a similar type of comfort shoe (£55-£60) and appeals to the same market. The Suave smarter shoes (£69.99) have been really popular with our customers. Trade has been tough for us. We are offer great-quality shoes at good prices, which means customers only need to buy the once rather than continually replacing broken or worn-out shoes. We have seen a drop in sales for around ten years now – it is as if the area has not quite recovered from the recession.
Caroline French, managing director of WJ French & Son in Southampton, Hampshire
The Epworth smart-casual wedge from Gabor (£85) has been really popular with our customers, especially in the navy and multi-coloured colourways. Legero is another strong seller, especially the Tana casual Mary Jane flat (£75), which is a perfect shoe for spring. Women really love the Tana because it is so comfy but also very summery. We have also been selling a lot from the Waldläufer range as well, especially a Mary Jane style that we call Hayley (£75), it comes with a swirly pattern that the customers really love. We have been really busy throughout January and February – surprisingly so, in fact – and we’re up on last year. Although the snow days were not great for us, we are doing really well. I think being slightly out of town is working well for us.