News 24th November 2021 Mia Finch The Appleton School

The history of the shop:

Jonathan Garston owns Garstons shoe shop in Hadleigh, Essex. An interest of shoes has been in his family for a long time, and Jonathan has been passionate about this ever since he was 6 years old. The shop opened on February 1st, 1969 and at age 14, Jonathan began working half days on a Saturday.

What impact did Covid-19 have on Garstons as a small business?

Jonathan had to close the shop in March 2020 due to lockdown and he arranged a way for customers’ to still get shoes. Customers phoned up the shop and asked for whatever shoes they wanted and then he did a Covid friendly click & collect service for those customers. Jonathan re-opened again in June 2020, and he added the correct Covid safety precautions. This included a perspex screen on wheels, and customers had to wear a mask when it was mandatory. However, when it was no longer mandatory, Jonathan’s preference is still that a customer wears one, but it is completely their choice.

What Jonathan says about the shop?

Jonathan said there is a vast amount of around 4500 shoes in the shop!! There are two floors in the shop, the 2nd floor is the men’s department and there are also children’s wellington boots stored up there too.

The outside window display is changed twice a year and the inside displays are also changed regularly.

Currently there is a sparkly Cinderella Shoe in the shop window to promote the Cinderella Pantomime which is held at the Cliffs Pavilion theatre in Southend in December 2021. Jonathan said, “Southend theatres gave us a Cinderella shoe to put into the window so we can promote the pantomime for Hadleigh”. Garstons prides itself on having an extremely loyal customer base and when overseas visitors’ return to the UK, they re-visit the shop.