Shoe shop to shut its doors after 140 years
JOHN Jones Footwear as been in Cradley Heath’s Upper High Street since founded by the Jones family way back in 1877.
If you ask anyone in and around the town, Jones’s was known for its quality and service.
The shop has survived wars, recessions, Merry Hill, a huge supermarket opening almost opposite, and a road widening scheme. But like many other well known high street names it has succumbed to the difficult times caused by recent changes in retail, and Jones’s are finally set to close, after more than 140 years.
As proprietor Pam Perrins told the Bugle:
“Shopping is no longer an experience where you are treated like an individual, with individual needs, where you can pass the time of day with staff. Shopping on the internet will never give you that.
“During the thirty years that I’ve had the shop, lots of customers have become friends. We’ve laughed and cried together and best of all shared their memories about the shop. The old brigadier who sat in his chair wearing his smoking jacket and hat; Mary who would fetch you numerous shoes to try on, you may even remember having your feet put into the pedoscope or buying your first pair of Startrite school shoes, or in recent years shoes for a special occasion.
“John Jones has a wonderful history and it will be a sad day when the door closes for the last time.”
Over the past three decades Pam has employed full time and part time staff, but for the past twenty years Sue has been her right hand, and for fifteen years Kim has been her left.
“We have become a family,” said Pam. “Sisters in arms and true friends. The decision to close the shop was not an easy one to make but after three years of gruelling trading conditions, it was impossible to carry on.”
Owner Pam Perrins in the centre, with Sue Maybury on the left, and Kim Hill on the right
has the old A piece of history ... John Jones’s still ‘Pedoscope’ foot measurer