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Bourne shoe shop offers virtual fitting service for customers




A Bourne small business steeped in tradition has come up with a novel use of modern technology to keep trade buoyant during lockdown.

Family footwear fitter North Shoes is maintaining its renowned personal service to customers by

offering a virtual fitting service.

It proved so popular during the first lockdown earlier this year – particularly for children’s shoes -

that it has been relaunched.

North Shoes managing director James North (left) and practitioner Ryan Clements in the Bourne shop. (43119404)
North Shoes managing director James North (left) and practitioner Ryan Clements in the Bourne shop. (43119404)

James North – the fifth generation to run the family business founded in 1876 – said: “We really

value seeing and talking to our customers and helping them make the right choices in footwear.

“That won’t be possible in person in our shops for a few weeks so we’re really pleased to be able to offer this service ‘virtually’ in their homes.”

North Shoes practitioner Ryan Clements with the online measurement gauge used with the virtual fitting service. (43119408)
North Shoes practitioner Ryan Clements with the online measurement gauge used with the virtual fitting service. (43119408)

Using video platform FaceTime, staff are able to offer a thorough service, from measuring to

footwear recommendations to fitting.

Customers download a measuring gauge from North Shoes’ website and then a staff member video calls to take the correct sizing and give recommendations.

Footwear can either be home delivered or made available via click and collect, A follow-up video call is made to ensure a healthy fit or to assist with reordering.

The virtual fitting service was borne out of the North Street shop being closed to visitors from March to June.

James said: “A customer called me and said ‘I’ve got these shoes and I don’t know whether they fit me correctly’. So I asked if I could make a FaceTime call to them and take a look.

“Then another customer contacted me to say she was unsure about her child’s shoes and I

suggested the same thing.

“That was how Mr North’s Virtual Fitting Service began and I went on to help about 60 to 70 families with it.”

Whilst shoe fitting is best in person, it is possible for a skilled specialist to advise on the appropriate width, depth and style via a virtual meeting. The service is being used by North Shoes customers in London, Birmingham and even France.

The business has four other shops - in Stamford, Oundle, Lincoln and Cambridge – and its full range is online at www.northshoes.co.uk.

To book a virtual fitting appointment with practitioner Ryan Clements call, text or WhatsApp 07903 400886.



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