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For the third of our independent footwear retail features, we turn to the Lake District’s family-run Strolling4Shoes.

Andrew and Sue Marshall moved to the Lake District in 1997 with their four young sons as Andrew was working as a shoe agent. On a day out in the winter of 2004, Andrew and Sue spotted a tiny shop that was available to rent and launched Strolling4Shoes in April 2005.

The shoe trade has been Andrews' life for over 40 years. His family has been in the trade since 1904 and now one of his sons is carrying on the tradition working as an agent. The company is a long-term stockist of Josef Seibel.

Strollling4Shoes’ two shops in Penrith and Cockermouth re-opened on the 15th June and have enjoyed welcoming back a steady stream of customers over the past few weeks. Online business continued throughout lockdown and has proved important for the business.

Web Sales Coordinator, Luke Heron, who also works as a sales assistant in the Cockermouth branch said, “The first few weeks have been really good, largely due to our location we specialise in casual, comfortable footwear which is exactly what everyone is looking for now. Customers have been buying sandals and trainers. Due to the Cockermouth floods a few years ago, we moved the location of our shop there to Station Road. The new shop is on a street corner and therefore has two entrances which has enabled us to create a one-way system under the new regulations.”

Other changes that have been made in the shops to ensure customer and staff safety include stickers on the floor marking out 2 metres, hand sanitiser stations and restriction on the amount of people allowed in store at one time. Strolling4Shoes is also offering after hours appointments for those who are not comfortable during opening hours.

Luke added, “We’d like to thank our customers for their support during this challenging time and ask people to keep on shopping local with independent retailers.”