Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Campaign to save Nairn’s only shoe shop?

This observer was speaking to a shopkeeper today who thinks that the loss of such a key retail outlet such as the DE shoeshop could have a devastating knock-on effect on other businesses in the town, as consumers would have one less reason to visit the High Street. The trader told the Gurn that they felt that there should be a campaign to save the store.

Liz and Colin have written to the Managing Director of the company, Robert Sinclair. Colin said on Facebook today: “We've already written to DE Shoes (Dundee HQ) asking if we can help. Sadly I'm not hopeful - although the fact that they are the only shoe shop must work in favour of retaining our branch.” The Association of Nairn Businesses have also stated that they will try and help DE Shoes. It is very difficult to know what can be done. Maybe if we highlight the fact that this is Nairn’s only shoe shop on a still viable High Street perhaps a potential buyer might consider including the Nairn store in an acquisition list.

DE Shoes are only one of a number of companies in difficulties but they have stores in a number of Scottish communities that are some distance from bigger shopping centres. The Gurn understands that DE shoes are the only shoe shop in Buckie too and perhaps this situation is mirrored elsewhere. A quick Google reports that other stores under threat include Ft William, Thurso, Wick, Orkney, Shetland, Oban, Stranraer, Newton Stewart and Castle Douglas. All over Scotland communities like Nairn are facing a similar challenge and a threat to their High Streets. The situation with DE Shoes brings it sharply into focus. Have we reached a point where towns with a population of 10,000 plus like Nairn can no longer support a Shoe shop?


APTSec said...

Have we reached a point where towns with a population of 10,000 plus like Nairn can no longer support a Shoe shop?

What an interesting point Gurn. Doesn't anyone do market research anymore? Who is buying shoes these days? Ages? From where? What style? for what purpose?

I was in one of the larger Boots the Chemist recently and noticed that they have a lot of Christmas stock that is on sale and still not shifting.

APTSec said...

A quick google revealed some interesting reading:

From 'The Telegraph' 27 Jan 2008 - 'Why the old shoe retailers are on their uppers'

"Dolcis has gone, Stead & Simpson is up for sale - outsmarted by nimble newcomers who realised that consumers wanted what they had seen in Sex and the City. James Hall reports."

From 'The Fashion Business, DRAPERS' 25 May 2012

'Footwear shoppers decline'

"The number of shoppers buying footwear has fallen by 13.9% between 2007 and 2011, the equivalent of 5.5m shoppers."

From 'Modern Marketing and Media?'

'Debenhams reveals almost half of its shoe sales are now made online'

"Off the back of its ‘Call it Spring’ campaign, created by digital marketing agency STEEL London, Debenhams generated £19,000 worth of shoe sales online...STEEL’s CEO, Andy Hinder, added: “As a product category, shoes are particularly difficult to sell online so for the campaign to have driven almost half of the sales online is practically unheard of. It shows retailers how effective the digital mix can be in generating sales and that online is a viable sales channel for all fashion product lines.”

Anonymous said...

DE Shoes do have an online shop but even if that area of their business is successful it doesn't save the High Street stores, you just need a warehouse and a few folk to run that.

I can only assume that the allure of the internet or visiting big town and cities for our shopping is seeing the death of the local High St an DM are yet another victim of our new found shopping habits

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this is Liz and Colin who've written to the MD at DM Shoes or the SNP government? Just that news of the difficulties the business was in only became public in the last couple of days and I wonder if our government were trying to do something before then?

Graisg said...

Liz and Colin have written to the MD and also the leader of the Council and Highland MSPs.

Anonymous said...

What is the point in writing to the MD. At the end of the day if the shop is not viable then it is not viable, only way to change that is for people to use it, which i dont see happening..

Maybe if they moved to smaller premises it might help as that would reduce the overheads.

Anonymous said...

who will take the hush puppies out to pee if it closes