A Step Above the Rest!
Begg Shoes & Bags on Union Street has been transformed over the last two years. The takeover of several DE Shoes stores in April 2013 opened up new opportunities for the business. A re-furbished shop, new products and an increased emphasis on specialist customer service has seen the shop's popularity improve dramatically, despite the challenges facing Inverness city centre businesses.
The product variety in the shop was the element which Donald Begg feels has changed most over the past two years.
“We’ve added in brands such as Skechers, Clarks, Ruby Shoo, Timberland, CAT & Irregular Choice. These are brands which are well known around the world and these all add an increased focus on fashion to our product offering.”
“At the same time, our scale now allows us to go direct to leading European and Brazilian factories that are making shoes for the UK’s most famous retailers and brand names. We’re able to have them made in the same factories and sell them to our customers for RRP’s that are typically £10-£30 less than retailers that are ‘never knowingly’ more expensive. I genuinely believe we are now offering the best value for money footwear in the City while still maintaining the quality we are highly reputed for.”
Customer service remains the top priority for the business. The Inverness team are extensively trained by both suppliers and the Begg family in the endless intricacies of footwear. Materials and fit of the shoe are critical in ensuring customers are buying shoes that fit properly and will not cause foot health problems later in life.
With a nod to the businesses routes, originally as a shoe manufacturer in North East Scotland, the interior of the shop maintains many features of a "traditional" shoe shop whilst adding a modern and spacious feel. LED lighting, Karndean flooring and increased use of glass now have the shop looking as good as any in Inverness.
Their recently launched website, http://www.beggshoes.com, continues to grow rapidly. With over 40,000 pairs of shoes available to buy online, the breadth of choice is vast for an online customer. Free Click & Collect, Free Delivery on all orders over £50 (£2.95 if less than £50) and easy returns have seen many of the shop’s regular customers buying their shoes online and a vast new customer base developing worldwide.
Mr Begg commented:
“Since June last year we have now shipped nearly 4,000 pairs to customers all over the world. It’s been a great success story and is also a great service that enables customers in the Highlands to still buy their shoes locally”.