The Society of Shoe Fitters FITTING NEWS Spring 2012

Published:  10 February, 2012

A warm welcome from the President - Here we are embarking on a new season in a tough retail world. Let's hope for once the weather will be kind to us all with a lovely long hot summer. That will cheer us up and make our bank accounts look better. Here in South West Wales it has been a very wet and mild winter.  In my establishment the next season’s stock is flooding in. Where will it all go? We are still crossing our fingers for ice and snow with the hope of selling more winter boots.

I look forward to attending Moda meeting colleagues and friends, comparing notes and looking for fresh products and ideas. So many people in the shoe trade are a joy to meet and a pleasure to spend time with.

 Exhibitors must be in two minds whether to attend with trade suffering so badly, so the least we can do is go to support them. It is much nicer to put a face to a name and also discuss things in person.

 Our conscientious and lovely secretary Laura continues to help and inform the public, retailers and manufacturers. We must remember that our Society safeguards an accumulated wealth of knowledge that is crucial for the next generation to appreciate the importance of correctly fitted shoes. It would be great to see more members join our council and you will be amazed at the variety of issues the SSF has to tackle. The meetings are always different, interesting and lively, but a good time to share ideas and problems and make new friends and contacts in different parts of the country.

 Good luck to all our members - please say hello if you see me at the show!

 Jan

 Thank you to all our Associate Members over 2011 and for those who have paid promptly for 2012. We have kept our fees the same because despite the size of company, it is all relative and no-one is finding things easy.

We are also very grateful that sponsorship of our newsletter is proving a popular way of contacting our members and the media. So thank you to LEGERO and SUPERFIT for kindly wholly sponsoring this edition also to :- JOSEF SEIBEL, AETREX and CLARKS for already promising part-sponsorship for 2012 editions. We should also have Church’s, Barkers, Grenson, Hotter etc as Associates… so where are they? If you stock these brands it would really help for you to contact their Sales Director/MD and muster support. If we gain Associates we can keep your annual membership fee affordable. Come on members, please help to muster up support.

PLEASE WELCOME NEW ASSOCIATE MEMBER LOAKE BROS. LTD.

Started in 1880 by three brothers, based in Kettering, Northamptonshire (the heart of good shoemaking) now 125 years and 5 generations later, this company famous for their Goodyear Welted men’s high quality leather footwear, has become one of our Associate Members. The current Loake team have now got the brand selling into over 50 countries; improved their web presence and has invested on the high street with their first shop opening in Piccadilly London just before Christmas to reinforce their brand image. Their website is a delight to read - even if you are not a Loake stockist but simply love good shoes!

In these difficult times the public are becoming more aware that quality lasts longer and is a better investment. Found in most upmarket stores throughout the country and just having been voted No. 1 Men’s Footwear Brand in the Footwear Today research, Loake shoes remain one of the U.K. brands to be extremely proud of. Look on our website for contact information or go to: www.loake.co.uk

 

SHOE AMNESTY

Ellie Dickins Shoes is offering a shoe amnesty throughout the month of February and this is something you could do too! What better way to encourage people to get rid of their old shoes to replace them with lovely new ones!

Ellie wanted an idea for worn footwear so we passed on the following:

 

United Shoe Recycling Company is a new national shoe recycling company with a difference. We reward participants in our scheme by paying for shoes donated. These shoes are despatched to developing countries for reuse providing useful footwear and employment where opportunities are sparse.

 

RETAIL TRADE: We provide those who participate in our scheme with eye-catching containers and once full we provide a receipt and payment or credit monthly/quarterly by electronic transfer. This money is then available for donation to customers own preferred charity or community projects. It is simple as that!!

 

WHOLESALE TRADE: Wholesale & Retail Trade:- We buy shop returns both damaged and new, end of line, excess and liquidated stock. These items are stored in our secure warehouse and all goods are logged. We provide an industry standard audit from goods inwards/outwards. All shoes are sorted and the de-branding process is carried out by a team of highly trained operatives. The tags, labels and barcodes are removed and destroyed; this process is monitored by senior management. Be assured we are registered with the Environment Agency and all Public/Employers insurances are in place We are proud to state we are aiming to secure ISO 9001 & the Environmental Management Standard ISO 14001. For more information please refer to our website: www.unitedshoe.co.uk

 

Ellie is promoting this with the local press and telling consumers: “This is the perfect opportunity to clear out of the wardrobe ALL those shoes that don’t or won’t fit, bad purchases, or styles the “fashion police” would have you arrested for”!! We will accept WORN not TORN shoes of any size, style, colour and fit. All shoes received will be sent to a workshop for cleaning, any small repairs, and re-boxed and sent on to developing countries in Africa.

The beneficiaries are always grateful for footwear, as it is almost impossible for the poorest families to afford shoes. With your help these people will be able to walk to other villages, to farm, work and be able to socialise with others, all factors that we take for granted every day due to wearing footwear. Not only will your shoes be passed onto a good home, but we will also raise cash for our chosen charities. All donations of shoes will be gratefully received and the monies raised will be donated to the top 3 charities chosen by YOU.

PLEASE start telling your friends and collecting shoes. Bring them to Ellie Dickins Shoes, in February, and let us together make a difference. Ellie Dickins Shoes, 97 High Street, Hungerford. RG17 9TL Tel. 01488 686480 Open Tuesday – Saturday 10am to 5pm. Web: Elliedickinsshoes.co.uk Email: Sales@Elliedickinsshoes.co.uk

Editors Note: Within 24 hours Ellie had 3 sacks of shoes!

 

CAN MEMBERS HELP JACK? Do you play music instore? Would you like to, but concerned about having a licence? If you could email Jack he would greatly appreciate your feedback – thank you.

Dear Society of Shoe Fitter Members….I would like to be able to contact anyone who uses music as part of their normal business operation, or has an opinion about the use of music in their shop. I would not need to take up much of their time. Essentially, if they could answer these questions I would soon have an answer to my question about writing prsfree music for shops.

 

1) Do you currently have a PRS licence?

2) Would you be interested in purchasing music which would mean that you didn't need a PRS music licence?

3) Would it put you off the concept if your business name was performed on each track in the background?

4) How much would you be prepared to spend on one cd of this music?

5) Would you prefer to receive the music electronically or via a cd hardcopy?

I realise that business owners may be suspicious about being approached by someone that they

don't know, asking about PRS licences!! But without knowing what percentage of owners have

licenses, it is impossible for me to tell whether or not anyone would be interested in this sort of

music.

 

I would be very grateful for any guidance you could give me. Any help putting me in touch with

business owners and confirming that I don't work for PRS would be amazing!

Thanks. Jack Email: jacknotchris@yahoo.co.uk

 

This month’s newsletter is fully sponsored by Legero Schuhfabrik GembH whose brands Legero & Superfit are Associate Members of the SSF. Enclosed with your newsletter is the Superfit ‘Back-to-School’ brochure for 2012. Both brand collections are aimed with comfort and durability in mind. The company is a brand partner of the world’s leading

‘waterproof & breathable membrane’ manufacturer GORE-TEXฎ. They have 2 sales representatives in the UK & Ireland – Marcus Baker in the South of the UK & Ireland, Tel. +44 (0)7775 995547 or Marcus.baker@legero.at and Abi McIntosh in the North of England & Scotland, Tel. 07899 900807 or abi.mcintosh@legero.at . They will be showing the new AW12 collections at the following trade shows and stockrooms, so make sure you put these dates in your diary. (Note from Editor: It is much better to view ranges at stockrooms as you are more likely to see a complete range and have fewer distractions!)

 

Footwear Trade Shows

Ireland - ISRA - The Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, 12th & 13th February 2012

UK - MODA - NEC Birmingham, 19th - 21st February 2012 on stands S26 - Superfit

& R25 – Legero

International - MICAM - Milan, 4th - 7th March 2012. Hall 10 stand D8 - D10.

GDS - Dusseldorf, 14th - 16th March 2012. Hall 7A Stand B6.

Stockrooms

Ireland

PORT LAOISE – Thursday 9th February 2012

LIMERICK – Friday 10th February 2012

UK

GATWICK - Holiday Inn, 4th – 6th March 2012.

CARDIFF – Maldron Hotel, 20th March 2012

HUNTINGDON – George Hotel, 28th March 2012

Gatwick ‘Seasonal Take Off’ If you can’t make it to MODA this season then take a trip to this stockroom organised by a group of Sales Representatives and Agents of many leading brands. This event takes place at the Holiday Inn,

Gatwick Airport, Povey Cross Road, Horley from Sunday 4th to Tuesday 6th March 2012. There will be 12 companies showing 27 collections for AW12 including Legero, Superfit, Geox (Kids, Adults & Apparel), Garvalin, Lelli Kelly, Petasil, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Noel, Umi, Rondinella, Toughees, Striderite, Angulus, Bobell, Bio Mechanics, Nora, Skechers, Leo Leo, Bobux, Ikon, El Naturalista, Art, Bisgaard, Weinbrenner & Bubblegummers. Please contact the brands to book an appointment.

The ‘must do’ exhibition = MODA is in a couple of week’s time Sunday 19th, 20th & 21st February, and it has never been a better time to look at what is new and available and the colours trends for the forthcoming season. Although exhibitors may not be happy to lose attendees to Seminar Speakers, there are some good sessions planned that may help your business.

The Awards Dinner will be held on Sunday 19th February and transport is available from the show to the hotel, but this must be pre-arranged with Stella Ryder on 0773 304 2104 by Wednesday 15th February. We shall be presenting our Trophy for Student of the Year 2011, and our finalists are:

Kim Jackson of Klodhoppers, Hove, E. Sussex

David O’Dwyer of Cushyfeet, Limerick

Sheridan Parsons of Wooton Bassett

 

They all submitted excellent coursework and attended workshops – each a worthy winner. Dasco Dunkelman has once again kindly agreed to donate a valet box to the winner, so it should be an exciting event. The best thing is that unlike many Award ‘do’s’ it is affordable, so lots of retailers should be able to stretch the budget to enjoy a good night out among like-minded people. The hotel is amazing (‘The Forest of Arden’), and room prices are usually very high befitting it’s standing, but Footwear Today have negotiated a special rate as you will see enclosed. We are told that a supplier booked into the Metropole at ฃ160 a night and has decided to change her booking!

There’s no doubt the champagne will be flowing and the exhibition hall on Monday will be a little quiet first thing in the morning until the Aspirin’s kick in! ‘Yours truly’ has been generously nominated by some of you in the Personality of the Year category – thank you so much, and our previous President Bernard O’Brien is also up for the same award so it will be pistols at dawn. The votes are coming in thick and fast – so who knows? Regardless of the outcome we are both delighted to be considered. If you would like to sit on the SSF tables, then please inform John Andrews or Sue Wiseman at Footwear Today (email: jandrews@datateam.co.uk or swiseman@datateam.co.uk)

CHANGES to Courses & Examinations 2012

Our next course starts March 1st. It is advertised as a 5 month course and is condensed to allow students to attend both Workshops. There are now 2 workshops twice a year, instead of 3 each year, giving everyone a chance to attend a workshop they may miss within the same year. This will also benefit those working quickly or completing on time, because rather than wait for a presentation at a Workshop, students will receive their Certificate of Membership, badge, goodie bag etc. immediately. Please note Workshop 2 has changed date from the advertised 6th June to the 13th June due to two bank holidays that week.

 

There will still be a Student of the Year 2012 and they will be presented with their Trophy in February 2013 at the Awards dinner. The course has been updated from last year with more photos/illustrations to assist visually and make it more aesthetically pleasing and we have added to our Helpful Information pages at the front of the folder. Don’t forget training and membership fees are TAX DEDUCTABLE, and we make a discount for colleagues ofexisting members.

Book now – an application form can be found on our website!

 

Entrance Examination – Our current examination is for staff fitting shoes for more than 4 years. These are people who probably do not need our course, know what they are doing but do not have an official recognition of their skill. To encourage more shops/staff to join us we are going to promote the Examination in forthcoming trade press adverts in the hope to add to our skill base. The current exam is based on a Q&A and quite anatomically based and is available as a PDF on our website. However we are planning an alternative Examination which would request a full C.V. together with personal ‘attitude to fitting’ profile. It would be essay based to cover how the applicant deals with fitting in a variety of scenarios on a daily basis. Hopefully this will

encourage far more to apply – so watch this space!

GREETINGS FROM THE SECRETARY:

Longer days, brighter evenings, just a few extra minutes each day makes a massive difference to the feel-good factor. Apparently we are set to have the mildest winter for approximately 300 years – but sitting here in the office with the electric fan on full blast, I’m not sure I believe that. Some of you are already planning ways in which to kill me (probably not for the first time) as this time last year we were up to our ears in thick snow and ice, stocks of boots were extremely low and I was busy trying to find available stock for those who had not bought enough. Because of this I urged you to buy a lot more for this year…gulp, as they say in Norfolk ‘that’ll laarn me’! My apologies to those who agreed with me and are now praying for a late freeze to clear the shelves – there is still time I’m sure.

Many of you have ordered the new infant fitting gauge and Step2wo in Harrods, Selfridges etc. have ordered a good number and very pleased with how they are performing. All our gauges are priced at ฃ85, so if you would like one, please let me know. These are only available to our membership and we are keeping a list of where they are going, so if you see one where you think it shouldn’t be, do let us know.

Our students are performing well and our next course starts MARCH 1ST, so no doubt we shall be creating some more qualified and professional shoe fitters to our ranks later in the year. Don’t forget SSF members can put students on the course at a reduced fee!

It is good to see that more companies are signing up as Associate Members, it helps tremendously. If you know of a company who should be working with the SSF, ask them why they are not and let me know.

Good luck to PADDERS with their new shop ‘Padders for Kids’ opening February 11th. The shop fitting looks amazing – just like their shoes! Hopefully we will feature the opening in our next edition in April.

There are various important events cropping up in the next month. THE AWARDS DINNER, MODA, NEW COURSE START, WORKSHOP 1 and our 52nd AGM all happening shortly….what is it they say - use them or lose them? I am also hoping that if you haven’t paid your subscription fee yet you will reach for your cheque book now. Our subscriptions help to keep the SSF running and having reduced the subs to Podiatrists who are not selling shoes (as they have numerous other professional fees to pay), every penny is important to us. If you know that you are not going to pay for whatever reason, then please be honest and let us know. We were disappointed to receive a couple of bounced

cheques last year, (not something we have experienced before - or expect from SSF members), but on a happier note some of you have actually sent donations in addition to your subscription fee this year, and this helps tremendously, thank you. Right… on with more news. Please keep in touch and say hello if you are able to get to MODA or the Awards, it is always good to hug an SSF member!

Secretary - Laura West

 

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE PAGES – Do you need anything? Have something for sale? Need staff…or a job? We have a page to cover this and you can add items for FREE as part of your membership fee. We have just posted an advert for an Aetrex Foot Scanning device and will shortly be adding numerous items from a shop recently closed - shop fitting, gauges, stock etc., so check it out and possibly save yourself a fortune. If your items are sold we would appreciate knowing so that we can take your info offline. As well as an entry on the website, when you pay your subscription this year you will receive - Two new show cards, the annual door sticker, personalised annual certificate and a 2012 wall planner. These are in addition to the help line, newsletters, website, discounted courses, educational material, gauges, etc. all of which are created with our members in mind.

IT IS ONLY ฃ50 A YEAR to retain your qualification, gain from our organisation and stand out from the rest – less than ฃ1 a week, and it has been the same for 10 years, probably the best money you will spend all year as we are here to help you and support the industry. There are lots of things happening to ensure that our members are truly sought after, so please stay with us and help us do more!

 

THANK YOU TO PETER LAMBLE AT START-RITE FOR CONTINUING TO ALLOW US TO USE THE LONDON SHOWROOM FOR OUR COUNCIL MEETINGS.

THANK YOU TO CHARLES AND DAVID DENTON OF D.B. SHOES, RUSHDEN FOR PRINTING OUR COURSE MATERIAL AGAIN, SAVING US THOUSANDS OF POUNDS.

 

Generous Donation! When H.R.H. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, was ‘knee high to a grasshopper’ he and his brother Harry followed the family tradition and were fitted with Start-rite Shoes, which at that time were made in Norwich. Charles ‘Jimmy’ James and later Charles Boyce (both ex SSF Presidents) were known as the Royal Fitters at S.R. and it was their job to ensure that generations of the Royal children were shod perfectly and comfortably. It hit the headlines when Prince William decided that his new shoes were not quite what he had in mind and promptly decided to flush them down the W.C. at Buckingham Palace!

Unfortunately the press loved this story…but what happened to the shoes? (No they are not floating in the Thames on their way out to sea). As you can imagine the plumbing at B.P. could not cope with such an obstruction, so presumably a dutiful courtier (or plumber) managed to salvage them and they returned to S.R. head office where the Production Director Roger Hook (inset photograph) kept them safely for many years. Roger sadly passed away in November 2009, but his widow Carol (nee Carol Brown – SR Advertising Executive back in the day) has kindly donated them to the SSF in the hope that at some point we will auction them to help our funds. If you know or knew Carol, you would not be surprised by her generosity and thoughtfulness, so for now we shall keep the shoes safe until the appropriate arrangements can be made and then invest the money sensibly in promoting the aims and objectives of our worthy membership. Roger would be delighted to think he would still be helping the shoe trade!

R.I.P. Sir Jimmy Saville

Here in the SSF office we were extremely sad to hear that ‘Sir Jim’ had passed away. What an extraordinary, kind and generous man he was. When Jimmy found out we were planning a

famous footwear auction (which regrettably did not come to fruition) he kindly donated a pair of his well worn trainers and wrote a lovely letter of support to accompany them – as well as a personal note of providence (see left). Our council feel it would be in bad taste to auction them at the current time, but with the addition of the Duke of Cambridge’s early footwear, something wonderful for our future.

The 52nd AGM is fast approaching WEDNESDAY MARCH 28TH at 12.00 a.m. at the Start-rite London Office, and if you would like to be on Council do let us know. There are only 3 meetings a year in London to discuss how the SSF should progress and iron out any problems. We have a fantastic Council but on occasion we have a resignation and our Constitution states that ‘3 Ordinary Members of Council may retire annually and be eligible for re-election’. This allows new Council members to come onboard and others to have a break.

Enclosed you will find an AGM agenda, Nomination Form and invite. If you would like to become one of the Council please complete the form and return it to the Secretary ASAP please. Reasonable travelling expenses are covered, as is a tasty ‘working lunch’, so if you can spare the time and wish to ensure the SSF continues into the future then please come along and be assured of a warm welcome. There is an eclectic mix of people on Council from various avenues of life and with many differing view points, but the one thing they all have in common is their desire to ensure that ‘FITTING’ training and information remains available, and to uphold this organisation as the vital resource it has become over the past 52 years.

If you would like a copy of the Minutes of the 51st AGM or Constitution please send an s.a.e. However if you wish to attend the meeting you will receive a copy of the previous Minutes. An Ordinary Meeting of the Council will follow the AGM. You are welcome to attend both/either, but we would need you to book a place at least 2 weeks in advance as we have to arrange seating and catering – thank you.

 

COUNCIL NOMINATION FORM

THE SOCIETY OF SHOE FITTERS

52nd ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Wednesday 21st March 2012 – 12.00 a.m.

 

Now in our 52nd year, the voluntary Council of the Society of Shoe Fitters remains a vital part of our organisation. It is made up of men and women of all ages and abilities, who have a passion for shoe fitting and our aims and objectives. Without the guidance of the Council it could not run as a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation. We hold 3-4 meetings a year and contribute toward travel expenses. Each meeting varies. Please complete the following if you would like to join our team, or to give apologies. Apologies are recorded on the Minutes.

IMPORTANT – Please return by 9th March 2012 to the Secretary

To ensure the Society remains a democratic organisation we are governed by a voluntary Council made up from the membership duly elected each year as follows:

1. Council: The nomination of not more than six names is permitted for election to the

Council. Nomination of fewer than six is in order.

2. Closing Date for Nominations: Friday 9th March 2012

3. Paid Up Members: Only fully paid up members are entitled to nominate, be nominated or

vote. Subscriptions for year ended 31st December 2011 must have been paid.

4. Ballot: If there are more nominations than Council places, a ballot will be held at the

AGM. Nominees not attending the meeting will be informed of the outcome directly after.

Being a paid-up member of The Society of Shoe Fitters, I would like to make the following

nomination/s to Council. (N.B. You may nominate yourself)

1. …………………………………………………………………………………

2. …………………………………………………………………………………

3. …………………………………………………………………………………

4. …………………………………………………………………………………

5. …………………………………………………………………………………

6. …………………………………………………………………………………

Permission to nominate the above has been obtained from those nominated.

NAME: ……………………………………………………………………………..…………..

Signed: ……………………………………………….. Date: ……………………………

Your Address: ………………………………………………………………..……………….

Tel. No.: …………………………………………………………………………

I will be attending the AGM: ……………

I will not be attending please give my apologies: (name) ……………….………......

52nd Annual General Meeting

AGENDA

To be held at:

THE START-RITE SHOWROOM

38-40 East Castle Street, LONDON W.1

N.B. This meeting will not be cancelled, so we ask that council members please book travel in advance

to save expenditure – thank you.

1. Apologies for absence

2. Approval of the minutes of the 51st AGM 2011

3. Matters arising

4. Annual Report – Mrs. Jan Parry MSSF, President

5. Financial Report – Mr. John Allan, Honorary Treasurer

6. Election/Re-election of Officers:

President

Vice President

Honorary Treasurer

7. Resignations to Council

8. Election of Council Members

9. Any other business

P.M. Ordinary meeting of the new Council – Agenda nearer the time.

SSF - AGM BOOKING FORM

Please book ………. places at the AGM. The names of those attending are:

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

From: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I do not wish to attend – please note my apologies (apologies can be emailed to the secretary)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I would like to make the following helpful Points/Suggestions to the Council:

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Footwear Focus

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