Shoe Zone now has 430 stores across the UK
Shoe Zone now has 430 stores across the UK

Shoe Zone has named Terry Boot as its next finance boss after predecessor Peter Foot walked away from the role.

The retailer said that Mr Boot will step into the position with immediate effect.

He will take the position after four years working with The Company of Master Jewellers, following roles at Brantano and Jones Bootmaker

The appointment comes after Mr Foot unexpectedly left the business last month after just seven months in the role.

Anthony Smith chief executive of Shoe Zone, said: “We are delighted that Terry has agreed to join Shoe Zone and are confident that his considerable experience will strengthen the board.”

It came as the retailer said it is unlikely to pay a dividend out to shareholders until 2025 as it swung to a loss following the impact of store closures during the pandemic.

Shoe Zone also confirmed that it reduced its store estate by 40 in 2020 as it was impacted by the turmoil on the high street.

Shares in the business dropped on Monday morning after it fell to a £14.6 million pre-tax loss from a £6.7 million profit in the previous year.

All of the company’s 430 high street and retail park stores are currently shut due to coronavirus restrictions and will reopen from April 12 at the earliest.

We do not expect profits will return to pre Covid-19 levels for the foreseeable future

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Shoe Zone

The group revealed that revenues slumped by 24.3% to £122.3 million for the year after it was hammered by store closures.

Nevertheless, the company hailed growth in its digital sales, which increased by 82% to £19.3 million for the year.

Mr Smith said: “We do not expect profits will return to pre Covid-19 levels for the foreseeable future.

“Lockdown in November and January to mid-April so far in this financial year makes a return to profit extremely unlikely until the financial period ending on October 2 2022 at the earliest.

“I would like to thank all those who gave us assistance in 2020 and have continued to help us in 2021.

“We are working very well as a management team in finding innovative ways to secure a future for our extremely dedicated Shoe Zoners”.

The group did not hand shareholders an annual dividend and said it would suspend payouts until it is able to pay off its £12 million debt, which is not expected to be until 2025 at the earliest.

Shares in the company were 6.7% lower at 69.7p in early trading.

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