Shoe store relocates to Court Street
Casual Footware is settling into its new home on Court Street, having moved during the summer from Parsons Road, where it had been for nine years.
The business has been operating since 1991 and was initially based in Southampton.
Everton Dawes, manager, started the enterprise after finding difficulty getting hold of size 15 shoes for himself.
Since then, he has spent much of the past 20 years splitting his time between overseeing the shoe shop and his job as a teacher. Then, three years ago, he retired from CedarBridge Academy. He is now fully involved in running the shop.
The longevity of the business is testament to its success. For the nine years it was located on Parsons Road it was a “destination store” with clients making the trip to the shop to purchase the brands it stocked. Those brands include Terra, Birkenstock, Rocky, Golden Fox, and the newly added Cofra range.
However, when it became clear the business would have to vacate the building it used on Parsons Road, Mr Dawes searched for an alternative location and found the unit on Court Street, opposite Soulfood Grill, and near the junction with Dundonald Street.
“I was blessed to get this location,” he said.
The premises were in need of upgrading and restoration, which Mr Dawes undertook with a few helpers. It took two months to fit out the shop, and during that time the Parsons Road shop remained open.
There were a few challenges during the transition period when shoes were being sold out of both locations, including an occasion when a customer chose a shoe at the Hamilton store, but had to wait for the matching shoe in the pair to be retrieved from the other shop.
Everything is now under one roof on Court Street, and business is good. Mr Dawes said: “I have kept my old customers and have added new customers as people walking by come in.”
Casual Footware sells boots, shoes and sandals. It has a large speciality line in workwear shoes and boots, and also regular footwear with a European flair for men, women and children, which promote healthy posture and movement.
The range of safety work shoes and boots stocked is extensive, reflecting strong demand of industrial clients and the construction industry that require employees to have footwear conforming to specific standards, such as CSA.
Shoes sizes at the store range from children’s to size 14 for women, and up to size 18 for men.
“We have different brands that have a European flair, with arch support that keep the body in alignment,” said Mr Dawes.
Customer loyalty for particular brands is strong, and many clients come to Casual Footware because it is the exclusive on-island carrier of certain brands.
Mr Dawes said: “Customers become brand loyal and they tell their friends about it.”
He added that the durability of shoes is important, that is why his shop stocks quality brands of shoes, boots and sandals that are made to last.
Mr Dawes enjoys being a shoe salesman and store manager, he said: “I get the opportunity to travel, the opportunity to negotiate and make my customers happy — and that’s the greatest satisfaction.”
Casual Footware is open Mondays to Fridays from 9.30am to 5.30pm, and on Sundays from 1pm to 4pm. It has a Facebook page at casualfootwarebda.
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