Shoe shop set to close after more than two decades in business

Andrew Field is closing his Fakenham shop, Broadland Shoes, at the end of November

Andrew Field is closing his Fakenham shop, Broadland Shoes, at the end of November - Credit: Aaron McMillan

A Fakenham shoe shop which has been in the town for more than 20 years is set to close due to the impacts of coronavirus and Brexit. 

Andrew Field, who opened Broadland Shoes on the Market Place in May 1999, says the firm will be forced to shut at the end of November. 

Andrew Field is closing Broadland Shoes in Fakenham later this year. 

Andrew Field is closing Broadland Shoes in Fakenham later this year. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

The 61-year-old began selling footwear in 1987, opening his first store in his hometown of Stalham.

Mr Field had initially hoped to retire when he reached 60 but, after the government increased the state pension age, he opted to push on.

Given the existing retail landscape, however, he has decided it is time to retire after all - admitting it is a worrying time. 


You may also want to watch:


“Every trade in retail is dying," said Mr Field. 

Andrew Field is running a retirement sale in his shop, Broadland Shoes, in Fakenham

Andrew Field is running a retirement sale in his shop, Broadland Shoes, in Fakenham - Credit: Aaron McMillan

"If I was 26 or 27, I'd never be able to work in this sector until I'm 62. The business would not be there; it has just changed.

Most Read

"I used to have 95pc British stock but, wind the clock on 35 years, I've got two British companies left and nothing made in the UK. It's a massive thing with Brexit and Covid playing their parts."

On the impact of the virus, he added: "In 20 years' time, when we look back, Covid will possibly be blamed for the death of retail. All it's done is speed it up. 

“We needed two months to wind down. We have might have shut down before Covid, and when it hit we were toying with it.

Andrew Field started selling footwear in Stalham, before opening a branch in Fakenham

Andrew Field started selling footwear in Stalham, before opening a branch in Fakenham - Credit: Aaron McMillan

"Instead we've had to ride it out, and then this just seemed like a perfect time.

"Closing up is due to a combination of things that we just can't stop. It's like trying to jump off a runaway train, but we've just about got one foot on the platform."

Before moving into retail, Mr Field built buses for British Leyland before being made redundant and using his payment to start his own business.

More than three decades on, he confessed that calling time had left him with mixed feelings. 

Andrew Field opened Broadland Shoes on the Market Place, Fakenham, back in May 1999

Andrew Field opened Broadland Shoes on the Market Place, Fakenham, back in May 1999 - Credit: Aaron McMillan

"It's a double-edged sword being in business, with some good things and some bad things," added Mr Field.

“I won't miss the hassle that goes with working, but I will miss interacting with people - you can't replace that."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter