An independent footwear retailer based in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire is celebrating 100 years in business this year!
Trading within the same family and also in the same building for 98 years, William Bruce Footwear Specialists Ltd is marking this momentous milestone across the year by giving away a free pair of shoes to one of its customers each month.
When a customer makes a purchase in the store, known as WM Bruce Shoes, their details are entered into a free prize draw for the whole of 2023. In January the retailer gave away a pair of Hogl shoes, in February a pair of Ecco shoes, and this month it was Rieker Shoes.
“We have chosen a different brand for each month of the year,” explained Dale Bruce, Co-Director of WM Bruce Shoes. “So far the two ladies who have won the prizes came into the shop to try on and collect their preferred pair of shoes.
“We have been posting on social media each month regarding our prize draw giveaway. We started telling people about it at the start of the year, and of course those that entered early will have more chances to win!”
To also raise the company’s profile and awareness of its big birthday celebrations, Mrs Bruce and her husband Steven – who is the fourth generation of the Bruce family now running the business, have sponsored and attended a charity dinner in aid of the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland. The pair have also provided raffle prizes to local primary schools and sponsored the local football team with an advertisement board alongside its pitch, with other charitable donations throughout the year.
“We are very proud of the quality leather brands we stock, and also very thankful to our many loyal customers,” continued Mrs Bruce. “We have achieved so much through all the ups and downs over the many years and we are certainly very grateful to all our wonderful staff members, who have felt like family even though not all of them have been!”
William Bruce, Steven’s Great Grandfather, opened the footwear store in 1923 and passed the business down through the generations. Today, Steven and Dale work in the shop daily alongside three part-time staff members, but it has very much been a family-orientated business with Steven’s mum still helping out when needed, even though she retired in 2012!
Mrs Bruce added: “We still run a very traditional independent shop with a lot of the same daily runnings as our previous generations. We focus on customer service and specialised fitting, working alongside our colleagues, always taking time with every customer to suit their individual needs.”