Out of idle curiosity I checked the Alfred Sargent website today and discovered some interesting developments for this well-known English RTW shoemaker.
New, improved website with online store coming in 2007
New retail store (first in their history) up and running in Bury St. Edmunds, a town in Suffolk, near Cambridge
A move into retail is somewhat unusual for a manufacturer, not least of which are concerns in managing channel disruption with existing retailers. However, from a business perspective, there are good reasons to establish a direct channel with consumers and expand brand awareness. Hopefully this expansion augurs well for the English shoe industry as a whole.