Bramhall residents are putting their best, well-dressed feet forward with pride thanks to one of our newest businesses, independent footwear retailer Arnouts. The family business dates back to 1929, moving into the village earlier this year – I Love Bramhall stopped by to meet owners Daniel and Zung Westwood to find out more.
Just a few doors down Bramhall Lane South on the approach to the village centre is the swish signage for Arnouts, and an attractive window filled with footwear of all kinds. Step into to the airy space and you’ll find two friendly faces ready with a smile and offers of assistance: meet Daniel and Zung, newlyweds, and owners of Bramhall’s only dedicated shoe shop.
Gabor specialists Arnouts may be the new biz on the block but the company’s history is long and rich. Arnouts was named after its founder, Belgian soldier George Caroline Arnouts. George came to England in 1929, injured from World War I. He married Brit Murial Fernly and the pair set up shop on Fog Lane in Manchester, where they sold clothes and shoes.
The Arnouts shop in Manchester continued trading until last year, when George’s descendants – and Daniel’s parents – retired. After many years of helping his parents in their shop, starting out at the age of 16 as a Saturday boy, Daniel had long wanted to open up an Arnouts branch in Bramhall, and this year his dream finally came true.
After travelling back to England from Vietnam, where he taught English alongside his wife Zung, Daniel was delighted to find some vacant premises in the village. With the help of his parents, Daniel set about preparing the shop, which opened to the public in August. An official opening celebration is planned for later this month, so watch this space!
The Arnouts family has been in the footwear business for 90 years, so customers can rest assured their feet are in good hands. Daniel and Zung take the time to ensure customers’ needs are catered for, whether they’re a size 2.5 or a size 11, wear orthotic insoles or need a non-standard leg fitting. Arnouts only stocks top quality shoes, sandals and boots from well-regarded brands Gabor, Rieker and Skechers, as well as slippers from renowned Spanish brand Nordikas in the run-up to Christmas.
Shoes start at around £50 while boots are priced from £75; there’s a wonderful choice on offer, from timeless, stylish flats and heeled boots to modern styles and the latest trends in trainers. Some colours are exclusive to Arnouts and different leg fittings are available in the Gabor boots – some up to an XL. The shop carries sizes up to a 9 in ladies shoes but can often order in 10s and 11s on request.
Many of the shoes and boots on offer are available to view and buy via the Arnouts website but if you pay a visit to the shop you’ll save on postage costs, as well as the price of a new pair of shoes. Products on the website have to be listed at full RRP but in the shop are around £5 cheaper per pair, so there’s no excuse not to pop by next time you’re in the village!
Daniel and Zung say they feel right at home in the Bramhall community, having been welcomed by many of our fellow businesses and taken part in local charity events. You might have spotted Arnouts’ super cricketer creation during the Scarecrow Festival, and they’ll be getting involved in Bramhall and Woodford Rotary Club’s Christmas fundraiser, too.
Arnounts are also proud to support The Variety Club charity, which recycles used shoes to raise funds for children and young people who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged. Simply bring along an old pair of shoes you no longer wear when you’re buying a replacement and until the end of November Arnouts give you a £5 discount on any new item of footwear for your trouble!
Keep your eyes out for updates about Arnouts’ opening celebration, which will take place over a weekend later this month. There will be refreshments and Gabor goodies up for grabs, as well as balloons for the little ones, so don’t miss out! In the meantime, pop in to the shop, visit the website or check out Arnouts on Facebook – all the details you’ll need are below.
Find: 42 Bramhall Lane South, Bramhall, SK7 1AH
Call: 0161 312 8596
Facebook: Arnouts Shoes
Email: [email protected]