CHILDREN are the heart and sole of a newly refurbished shoe store in Swansea’s Quadrant shopping centre.
The mall’s branch of Schuh is the first in Wales to champion a new concept which means it has been re-fitted to create an entire new Schuh KIDS ‘store within a store’.
Three whole walls are now dedicated to children’s shoes in the new Schuh KIDS section, alongside a revamped adult shoes area, after a refurbishment which saw the branch close for three weeks.
The colourful new design, with a fun chalk-board style wallpaper, includes one wall for babies and toddlers, one for girls and one for boys.
As the first children had their shoes fitted when the shop re-opened, manager Kim White said: “We always strive to be a great store, so it’s a real privilege to be chosen as only the third in Britain and the first in Wales to get this new Schuh KIDS store within a store.
“It’s a new concept for Schuh and I think we definitely have the market for it here in Swansea. It’s quite family oriented at Quadrant, especially after school and at the weekends.
“The staff have been being trained up and they’re all really excited to see customers’ reactions.”
Manager at Quadrant shopping centre Ian Kirkpatrick said: “We are delighted to be home to the first Schuh store in Wales to adopt this new concept for children.
“We are a family friendly shopping centre, and so we are really pleased to be able to offer a wider range of choices to our young customers. We expect the fitting service to be particularly popular.”
Previously Quadrant’s Schuh shop catered mainly for adults, and had a single upright column of shoes available for children.
Now a total 22 brands are stocked in children’s sizes, including Adidas, Converse, Timberland, Hush Puppies, Vans and Lelli Kelly.
Several ranges include crib shoes for babies, first shoes for toddlers including a tiny size two Converse pump, and junior shoes up to adult size 5.
All children who have a fitting are given a Schuh sticker and balloon to help make the experience special. The same range and variety of adult shoes is available as before the refit, and so it’s hoped families will come in to shop together.
Kim said: “We’re excited to be able to offer such a wide choice, I think the Lelli Kellys in particular with be a hit. They’re very ‘bling’ with lots of sparkle, and they actually go up to adult size five, so we’re wondering if some smaller footed mums might want to get matching shoes with their daughters!”
Half of the store’s 30 staff have been specially trained in how to fit children’s shoes, with the rest due to be trained up soon.
The other Schuh branches which offer a Schuh KIDS inside an adult store are in Birmingham and Glasgow and David Spencer, Buying and Marketing Director for Schuh, said: “We are very excited to be taking the Schuh concept to the kids market. We really wanted to bring the true sense of the adult chain to this new business and were very focused on not only opening a kid’s footwear format but opening a Schuh kid’s footwear format.
“In store we hope to create a unique environment which is aspirational for the customers yet very accessible and offering the standard of service that you would expect from Schuh.”
For opening times and information about events at Quadrant shopping centre, visit: www.quadrantshopping.co.uk