Warren Draper looks at the exciting businesses which are making Doncaster a premium town for destination shopping. First up, The Shoe Room, 8 Priory Walk, Doncaster DN1 1TS
Words: Warren Draper
Photography: Warren Draper
Thanks largely to the vision and drive of some amazing independent retailers, Doncaster is rapidly becoming a destination shopping hot spot. Destination shopping is where people travel miles to visit a specific store and the patrons of Doncaster’s The Shoe Room come from all over the country — sometimes from other countries — to visit one of the best shoe shops in the country. Which just happens to be run by one of the nicest couples in the country. We have featured The Shoe Room‘s Richard and Michelle a number of times over the years. First mentioning Richard back in May 2015, as part of our Slow issue (see Be More Tortoise on page 6).
Richard and Michelle offer a level of quality, knowledge and service which is hard to match. They sell the finest quality shoes in a relaxed and welcoming environment. In a world where ‘pressure selling’ is the norm, it is a pleasure to be treated with warmth and humanity by people who have a passion for what they do. They also have a passion for Doncaster, which is one of the reasons, I suspect, that they give so much care and attention to their shop window.
Richard and Michelle’s window displays are always stunning. They have the beauty and attention to detail of classic mid 20th Century department stores.
National chains try their best and are very strict with their staff about how their store-fronts should look, but this works against them because the real secret to beautiful design is creativity and love.
The Shoe Room window isn’t just about enticing people in to buy their wares. Their last display was created in remembrance to the fallen and it didn’t feature a single product from their shop. This was duly noted by an ex-serviceman I spoke to outside when I was photographing the shop back in November. He said he had felt truly moved by it.
The Shoe Room is as beautiful inside as it is out. Not only is the décor superb, the shoes are amazing.
With some of the world’s finest manufacturers, including Barker, Tricker’s, Loake and Fairfax & Favor, there is no compromise on quality and there is style to suit every taste.
As well as shoes, there are accessories, coats, hats, belts and socks. With masculine and feminine tastes duly catered for.
Banter is always thrown in for good measure at no extra cost… as is fine whisky when the mood presents itself.
You only get service like this in independent stores. It takes care an commitment to create this kind of retail experience.
Check them out for yourself. And if anyone fancies getting me a Christmas present, you could do a lot worse than buying me a pair of Barker’s double monks 😉