Doubt over Sears shoe division

Directors of British Shoe Corporation are standing by their designers and store formats, despite the future of the company being thrown into doubt.

But they confirm that any roll-out programmes for the formats are on hold for the time being.

British Shoe was identified by parent Sears as a major problem area when it announced last week that the group is to be broken up.

David James, a company “doctor” who specialises in salvaging troubled companies, has been appointed to rescue British Shoe and says that some parts of it may be sold.

At the same time Beverley Hodson, managing director of British Shoe’s Dolcis and Cable & Co chains, has resigned to take up a post with WH Smith.

British Shoe director Chris Onslow says that roll-out plans for current store formats, developed between Hayward Design, Retail Partners and James Mansour and introduced on a trial basis last year, are now on hold. “I predict that this will affect the capital expenditure,” he says of British Shoe’s predicament.

He denies that yet another new format for Dolcis was until recently being developed.

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