Teesside-headquartered family firm Charles Clinkard has been independently judged best footwear retailer in the UK by the prestigious Which? consumer magazine.
In a nationwide survey of shoe and boot shops, the iconic Tees business, which has more than 30 stores across the country, came out on top gaining five stars for product quality, in-store experience and service.
Charles Clinkard – whose headquarters are in Middlesbrough – was also singled out for praise for its measuring and size guidance, with Which? reporting: “We all know that size matters when it comes to choosing comfortable shoes and boots, and you don’t want to find the perfect size in one style only to find it doesn’t fit in another.
“We asked customers to rate the accuracy and consistency of sizing at stores selling shoes and boots – with specialist shoe store Charles Clinkard measuring up when it came to the accuracy of sizing.”
The survey also looked at value for money and range of product, with Charles Clinkard again scoring highly with four stars.
The company compared well to other shoe retailers, such as Clarks and Schuh, and held off competition from department store giants John Lewis and Marks and Spencer to gain the top overall score.
Managing director Charles Clinkard said: “It is a tremendous accolade for the business and our staff to be named as the best in the country. It is independent verification that we are fulfilling our long-held objectives of offering great service and a variety of fantastic brands.
“Outstanding customer service is what keeps customers coming back and we count our commitment to that as one of the reasons we have been successful.
“Our stores had to be closed due to the Covid-19 situation but we can now look forward to welcoming back customers – and can promise that the qualities that helped us to achieve this accolade will be more important than ever.
“Charles Clinkard stores will operate under government advice on social distancing and always work to keep staff and customers safe. We are also expressing our thanks for the incredible work the NHS are doing by offering their employees an exclusive discount.”
Charles Clinkard took its first steps into the footwear industry back in 1924 when Charles and Eveline Clinkard proudly opened their first shoe store in Middlesbrough, where it still stands today.
Charles Clinkard has gone from strength to strength throughout its 96-year history and now successfully operates in 38 stores throughout the UK, with a workforce of more than 500.
The company remains family-owned and managed and is now orchestrated by MD Charles Clinkard, grandson of the eponymous founder.
Through its clear business morals and commitment to the footwear industry, Charles Clinkard has gained a strong regional presence, with the company’s headquarters standing in the the town where it all began.
With an unwavering commitment to well-informed customer service and an unrivalled selection of quality, branded footwear, the company has ardently built upon its reputation which has enabled it to stand out against the sea of other footwear retailers across the country.