Approaching the end of the summer holidays inevitably comes the day when we need to buy new school shoes. Not a pleasant experience for most – the kids find it boring and we find it expensive. But needs must and whilst we were catching up with the reading challenge at the Library we called into our local shoe shop Goodacres.
Goodacres is a family run business and sells the two main brands for school shoes – Clarks and Startrite. The shop has been in Waterlooville for as long as I can remember and until a couple of years ago its main rival was a Clarks shop just round the corner.
I have three school age children and today we needed their feet checked and if necessary, new shoes. Our eldest was measured first and Mandy our sales assistant concluded that his current school shoes still had plenty of room – a saving already! Not much luck with the other two though! One had gone up a whole shoe size and the youngest needed new shoes as it’ll be his first year at school.
Mandy was excellent – we spent a good half an hour trying (what seemed like) half the shop, but totally worth it. She made sure that the boys new shoes fitted perfectly; which was a mean feat as my middle child insisted that every pair he tried on was slipping off!
Yes, we spent £80 but think about what we got for our money:
- Half-an-hour of proper shoe fitting for all three of my children (timed)
- Shoes that will probably last most of the school year (worn everyday and used to extreme)
- A really good, professional service
Many of my friends often say they go to Gunwharf Quays to the Clarks outlet as their shoes are cheaper. However, I disagree with this as I think you don’t save anything at all:
- You have to travel down which takes about 20 mins get there and 20 mins get back plus the hour it takes to get the shoes (not quick)
- Petrol approx £4
- Parking (if you use the “up to 2 hours”) £2.90 more likely £3.90.
- Wait around ages to get fitted
- Fitted by who? Randomly get a fitter that has years of experience or a fitter that sees it as ‘just a job’ ?
- Price – cheaper Clarks shoes of previous years’ season
- Whilst you are down there, grab coffee and Krispy Kreme too – £15 (!)
So the money you save on new shoes at the Gunwharf Quays Outlet is gobbled up with petrol/parking and all the other stuff you buy when out. If you go to Goodacres in Waterlooville:
- It’s local, so you save time
- Petrol costs will be considerably less
- Parking (free if you choose the ‘right’ car park – there’s always something in Home Bargains to buy…)
- Professional fitter with years of experience
- Price – going rate for Clarks/Startrite shoes
You end up paying the same or less if you go to Waterlooville for good fitting shoes and top-notch customer service. These are the reasons why we should all support good local businesses.
Where do you get your children’s shoes from? Do you use Goodacres?