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Blackwood shoe seller bucks the trend

Rhodri Watkins

While so many businesses are moving online one Blackwood shop owner is bucking the trend determined to save high street shopping.

Owner of Footastic Footwear Rhodri Watkins opened his shop in October and vowed to keep in-person shopping alive.

Rhodri said: “Instead of just looking at pictures online people need to really see and feel what they are buying. And most importantly in my shop they need to try items for size.

“And that goes for all kinds of shops, not just mine. Whether you’re looking for a trainer or shoe that fits you perfectly or a winter jacket you need to know it’s comfortable and that it suits you.

“I don’t want to see our towns turning into sterile landscapes full of characterless chains and the best way to avoid this is to support all our local businesses.

“With all the isolation we’ve experienced since Covid struck everybody can do their bit to turn their town centres back into vibrant and friendly places to be.

“It’s simple – use your high street shops or lose them.”

Alun Williams from Cardiff was delighted to discover Footastic.

He said: “I have size 11 feet and need wide-fitting. It’s impossible to get that right online and many times I’ve had to send shoes back.

“It was great to go into the Blackwood shop and try on shoes and have a walk around in them before I paid.

“I wish Rhodri the best of luck in his new venture and I’ll certainly be coming back. It’s so important to keep the high street alive and to be honest I’d much prefer to be spending my money in a local shop and boost the South Wales economy instead of some faceless corporation that may not even be paying tax in this country.”