Andrew Begg legacy will ‘live on’ in Peterhead

Andrew Begg is to close its Peterhead shoe outlet after a final day’s trading on February 1.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 24th January 2014, 12:27 pm

A forthcoming increase in rent and a gradual decline in turnover have been blamed for the difficult decision by the company’s partners.

It follows the closure of the Fraserburgh outlet in August last year.

But the good news is that the Begg family will continue to operate in Peterhead through their shop on Queen St – Shoes at QSP – combining the best of Andrew Begg, Begg Shoes & Bags and DE Shoes.

Garek Begg, brother of Andrew Begg and owner of Begg Shoes & Bags & Shoes at QSP, expressed his sadness at the news, saying: “The closure of Andrew Begg on Marischal Street represents another loss to Peterhead but sadly this is the reality of modern day town centre retailing.

“Rent and rates sustain their upward trajectory despite the mass reduction in footfall, primarily a result of out-of-town developments.

“It is inevitable that town centre businesses will continue to close in the months and years ahead, unless local councils, landlords and the Government change their ways.”

However he does see signs of encouragement that, despite the challenges facing local businesses, there is still a future for town centres.

“Customers increasingly want a unique and local shopping experience that vast out of town ‘warehouse-like’ shops cannot offer,” he said.

“We have seen this in Inverurie where, since taking over the former DE Shoes shop, customers have really appreciated the products and service that we offer. I am pleased to say the Begg family will continue to sell shoes and accessories in Peterhead through our shop on Queen Street – Shoes at QSP”.

Begg’s association with the town goes back a long time - nearly 30 years- when the family originally took over the Marischal Street shop from Matheson’s.

The Begg family have been trading in the Buchan area for 148 years and hopes ite can last the same again with the continued support of its customers.

Explaining their plans for Shoes at QSP on Queen Street, Donald said“We are going to be taking on two of Andrew Begg’s staff from Marischal Street, both highly experienced trained Clarks children’s fitters,” he said.

“ We will also be taking on the best of Andrew’s product offering, in particular, Clarks’ children’s shoes, Ecco, Gabor, Rieker, Tamaris, Nordika and Relax slippers.

“This will combine with our existing offering, including Clarks, Timberland, Skechers, Marco Tozzi & Padders. We hope customers will see Shoes at QSP as a combination of the best of both Andrew Begg, Begg Shoes & Bags & DE Shoes, formerly Foot Factory.

“Brands and product mix are constantly evolving. Our goal for Shoes at QSP is to give customers in the Buchan area access to the most desirable, best value & quality brands.

“In the coming months, the selection of shoes and bags we have on offer will be unrivalled in the Buchan area.”

Commenting, Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stephen Smith said: “This is very sad news. There has been a shoe shop there for as long as I can remember and for a long time prior to that.

“Scotland has the most competitive business rates in the UK and the Scottish Government’s rates relief scheme has been a lifesaver for many small businesses, but people also have to shop local and support their local traders otherwise they won’t stay in business.”