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Shoe shop 'doing fine' shoppers assured

PUBLISHED: 13:11 21 January 2009 | UPDATED: 09:21 13 July 2010

'CLOSING Down' posters plastered across the front of North Walsham's longest-established shop, and a sister store at Cromer, have misled many shoppers this week.

'CLOSING Down' posters plastered across the front of North Walsham's longest-established shop, and a sister store at Cromer, have misled many shoppers this week.

Concerned customers thought Market Place shoe shop Stead and Simpson, which also has an outlet in Cromer's Church Street, was set to follow credit crunch-hit Woolworths which shut its doors for the last time earlier in the month.

But North Walsham branch manager Margaret Westgate reassured townsfolk that they were not in trouble. “We're not going to close. We're doing fine!” she said.

The words “Central Warehouse” appear in much smaller print above the words 'Closing Down' on the posters. Mrs Westgate explained that Stead and Simpson had been taken over by Shoe Zone last January, but had kept its name.

Each firm had kept stock in its own central warehouse but Stead and Simpson's warehouse was being closed and in future the firm would share Shoe Zone's facility. Stock from the closing warehouse was on sale in the North Walsham shop.

“Everybody who's come through the door today has seen the posters and wrongly thought the shop was closing - we've been very busy!” said Mrs Westgate.

The North Walsham branch employs five staff and has traded on its present site since about 1884, according to Mrs Westgate. Stead and Simpson has over 275 stores throughout the UK.


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