UK Enterprise 2020

148 | UK Enterprise Awards 2020 Footwear is a vital part of day to day life, but for those with wider than average feet, the options begin to diminish markedly. The team behind Sandpiper Shoes know the market well and have become renowned for their exceptional products and superlative customer service. We profile the firm to see how the footwear brand from Northampton has achieved such inimitable success. Best Extra-Wide Fitting Footwear Brand 2020 & Fashion Customer Service Excellence Award 2020 Jun20485 Sandpiper has long been one of the most trusted brands in the market for those who need specialist footwear. Family-owned, the team have made a commitment to providing the best possible service for customers, leading the way forward in the industry. Sandpiper is unlike many of the companies that have invested in the extra wide footwear market. It is a small, independent company with a small, friendly team. The size of the firm has long guided the direction it has had to take, with the needs of individual customers taking on greater importance. The size of manufacturing is smaller than the competition which means that Sandpiper has a consistently high level of quality at every stage. Sandpiper products are always excellent, and the brand is well known for its super soft leather, generous padding and high-quality manufacturing. For those with problem feet or swollen ankles, a shoe from Sandpiper is of supreme comfort. The firm was one of the first in the UK to utilise multiple removable insoles to offer shoes with multiple width fittings. This practice has proven so successful that it is now standard across all major brands in the extra-wide market. With much of the business model for Sandpiper revolving around selling wholesale to Mobility Stores nationwide, the business has seen a great deal of change caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Obviously high street stores have become a less desirable option than online shopping, and the team has seen a rise in sales that come directly from them. That said, the wholesale side of the business is one in which the brand is keen to invest. The nature of the product and the older demographics of the customers means many will always prefer to visit an outlet to try their footwear on before purchasing. As such, the Sandpiper team are always considering initiatives to help their retail stockists thrive. This can be through offering innovative terms or new and exciting ways to help them provide online sales to help future-proof their businesses. Despite being well established in the industry, Sandpiper has recently undergone a great deal of change. For just over 12 months, the business has been part of Oakley Healthcare. In this time, it has been reviewed in every aspect in order to make improvements that will ensure the fitness of the company for the foreseeable future. Challenges in terms of supply chain and stock levels have been addressed over 2019, with future plans for the firm revolving around expansion. 2020 was meant to be the year where increased marketing for brand awareness was going to take place, with an increase in retail stockists in certain parts of the country. Obviously COVID-19 is still having a knock-on effect on the industry at large, but these plans will no doubt go into effect over the next 12 months. The success of Sandpiper is down primarily to the team’s ability to meet the needs of their audience. A care and attention to where the market lies guides them every step of the way, and this is the secret that has led to the company’s enviable success. Company: Sandpiper Shoes Web Address: