Shoephoric is an independent shoe business which has been based in Suffolk for more than 30 years. There has been a shoe shop on the site of the company’s Bury St Edmund store since 1879!
Owners Martin Ingram and Bianca Drage took over the business, formerly known as Dudley Mason, in 2007, following many years of experience in the footwear industry, working for Josef Seibel and Clarks. The company has 15 members of staff, working at thriving shops in Bury and Stowmarket, which provide quality, branded footwear for the whole family. The shops are popular with their local communities who enjoy the choice, diversity of product and high level of customer service.
The shops reopened following lockdown on 15th June, with full Covid safety measures in place to protect customers and staff. These include visors and face masks for staff, foot operated hand sanitisers and sanitising spray, screens at till points and a stringent cleaning regime after each customer visit. There are restricted numbers of customers allowed in store at one time and an appointment booking system is available via Facebook. This is being extended for the ‘back to school’ period. The shops are currently operating at the reduced hours of 10.30am to 4pm but hope to extend opening times in August.
A new transactional website with online booking system is also in the pipeline, which Bianca says will be an exciting development for the business. “We are been overwhelmed by the positive support we have had from our local communities since reopening and can’t thank them enough. We have a broad customer base and we work hard to provide a wide selection of products for everyone. Josef Seibel is our biggest brand. The designs, comfort, colours and ethical production methods really appeal to our customers. It has also been great to welcome back families buying trainers or school shoes. So far, we’ve been really pleased with how it’s working. Our customers have been keen to return, all happy to wear face masks in store and we’ll work hard to continue to make it a pleasant experience for everyone to shop with us.”