SCHUH and its US-listed owner Genesco have appointed property consultant CAPA to reduce the Scottish-based shoe retailer's rent costs across its estate of 132 stores.

The move by Schuh, which has 20 stores in Scotland and employs around 4,500 people across its operations in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Channel Islands, follows an exit from the German high street announced at the end of May. At that stage, Schuh flagged pressure on profit margins in its broader business amid “difficult trading conditions”. Announcing the appointment of CAPA yesterday, Schuh highlighted its investment in re-designing its stores and personalising customer relationship management (CRM) with the introduction of a new system.

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Its new “2020” store design has already been introduced to Schuh’s Livingston and Bristol stores. It will shortly be rolled out in Manchester, with Schuh’s store at Oxford Street in London scheduled for re-design early next year.

Schuh, which was founded in 1981 and was acquired by retailer Genesco in 2011, said: “Schuh and Genesco have engaged retail property consultant CAPA to reduce occupancy costs across its [Schuh’s]…store estate.

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“As a business, we remain focused on delivering initiatives to further enhance customer experience, including our new transformational 2020 store design, CRM personalisation, driving brand awareness and continuing to offer our customers their favourite footwear brands and styles.”

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When Schuh announced at the end of May that it was closing three stores in Germany, it cited changes in the marketplace and the impact of Brexit. It noted then that Germany had been its first choice for expansion outwith the UK, Channel Islands and Republic of Ireland. Its first German store opening was in Oberhausen in 2015. This was followed by the opening of an outlet in Ruhr Park later that year and the launch of a store in Essen in 2016.