A forward step for Arthur and Mark

A new shoe shop that has opened in Berwick town centre has an eye-catching way of getting people to look at what it has to offer.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 6:49 pm
Arthur Punton, left, and Mark Punton with the giant boots inside the Marc Antony shop on Marygate in Berwick. Picture by Canon Alan Hughes.

Arthur Punton has been in the footwear industry since 1985 and Punton’s Footwear Ltd was set-up in 2003.

He has traded at big country shows across the UK and had shops in York, Carlisle and Ireland.

Now living in Wooler, the Covid-19 pandemic brought forward plans to establish shops in Northumberland and the business opened one in Manor Walks, Cramlington, last year called Trekkers.

And earlier this month, its new shop on Marygate – between Vision Express and Mountain Warehouse – opened its doors.

Arthur’s son Mark, 29, will manage the shop. He started helping out at the age of 14.

The duo have a unique window attraction. A giant boot that is about four-and-a-half foot high.

Arthur said: “Having a shop offering once again has become very important given that trade from country shows has been decimated due to the coronavirus.

“As we live in Wooler, we wanted somewhere fairly local to us to add to the Cramlington shop and we went for the unit in Berwick when we saw it was available as it’s in a decent location in the town centre.

“The giant boots were used for a display at Alnwick Castle and we bought them at auction. I was going to use them at trade shows, but instead I’ve put one of them in the shop window and it is certainly getting people to stop and look.

“Mark’s middle name is Anthony and we’ve used that as the basis of what we think is a catchy name for the shop – Marc Antony, spelled the same as the Roman general.

“We’ve been quite busy so far and many of our customers have said how good it is to see an empty shop unit in Berwick being filled.”

The stock includes prestigious Italian brands and formal smart shoes, ladies boots, hiking boots, wellies and slippers are among the wide range of items that are available.

“Our business philosophy over the years is that if you have decent stock at reasonable prices, you tend to do OK,” Arthur added.

“There is plenty of space in the shop for people to walk around and try on the footwear, or move around in a wheelchair or mobility scooter.”