Sheffield city centre shoe shop closes after half a century

Jones Bootmaker, on Pinstone Street, has closed
Jones Bootmaker, on Pinstone Street, has closed
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A shoe shop with 50 years of trading history in Sheffield has closed its doors for the last time.

Jones Bootmaker, on Pinstone Street, has had a branch in the city centre since at least 1967, but has shut down as part of a wave of closures led by the national chain's new management team.

Jones Bootmaker, on Pinstone Street, has closed

Jones Bootmaker, on Pinstone Street, has closed

The decision means three jobs have been lost in Sheffield. The store's longest-serving member of staff had worked there for 38 years.

Supervisor Adam Wildsmith said the firm had decided to focus on 'smaller, boutique' shops, meaning the larger Pinstone Street unit was surplus to requirements.

"Some of the older customers brought their kids in for fittings so it's pretty sad for them," said Adam, who was in his 10th year at Jones.

He claimed the company's footwear would be more expensive under the new approach.

Jones Bootmaker, on Pinstone Street, has closed

Jones Bootmaker, on Pinstone Street, has closed

"It will be high fashion, rather than traditional, everyday shoes. But customers want the everyday product."

The 160-year-old retailer was bought by a private equity firm, Endless, in March, saving it from near-collapse. Under a business review, nine stores are being shut, adding to 25 that were shut down earlier this year as part of the rescue deal.

A company spokeswoman said: "The new management team is focused on stabilising the brand and delivering long term growth, ensuring that this iconic British brand will be around for another 160 years. This means reviewing every part of the business.

"Having reviewed our entire store estate, it became apparent that there are some stores that can no longer remain open. Whether this is because our product offer no longer supports the size of store - Jones Bootmaker no longer stocks children's footwear - the lease agreement makes it uneconomic, or the amount of investment required to improve the store environment to a standard our customers deserve is not viable."

She said the company was 'looking to relocate stores where possible'.

It is not yet known whether a new site is being sought in Sheffield - posters in the shopfront on Pinstone Street are directing customers to the nearest alternative branch, in Manchester.