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HeadquartersLivingston, West Lothian, Scotland
Key people
Colin Temple, Mark Crutchley, David Spencer, Kenneth Ball
Number of employees
ParentGenesco (2012–present)

schuh (pronounced /ʃu/, like "shoe") is a footwear retailer from the UK, with 132 stores in the UK and Ireland. The company is predominantly a branded shoe stockist, selling over 80 brands, including: Converse, Vans, UGG, Nike, Adidas as well as its own schuh label. The company is based in Livingston, West Lothian.


A branch of Schuh on Briggate in Leeds.

The very first Schuh store opened on Edinburgh’s North Bridge Arcade in 1981. Schuh’s founder Sandy Alexander noticed a lack of fashionable footwear retailer outside London, and he chose Edinburgh to open the very first Schuh store. Schuh describe their concept as follows: "To provide aspirational but accessible fashion footwear, sold in a unique and exciting retail environment at prices which represent value for money and sold by friendly and knowledgeable staff."[1] The business was operating independently until 1986, when it was acquired by Goldbergs. It continued as a semi-autonomous trading division until it regained independence through a management buy-out in 1990 and Schuh Ltd was formed.

In June 2011, Schuh was acquired by Genesco Inc. a Nashville, Tennessee footwear retailer, for the sum of £125,000,000.[2] Genesco Inc. sells footwear, headwear, sports apparel and accessories in more than 2,450 retail stores throughout the United States, principally under the fascias Journeys, Journeys Kidz, Shi by Journeys, Underground Station by Journeys, Dockers, Trask, Bass & Co., Chaps, Levi Footwear, and Johnston & Murphy. Genesco Inc. had a turnover of $2,600,000,000 in 2012-13.


Schuh is German for shoe. In external marketing, the company pronounces the word like the English word "shoe". Because of the name, many people assume that schuh is a German company. schuh was to be originally named Lizard, until founder Sandy Alexander's colleague Mike Doherty saw the word ‘schuhe’ written at the top of an industry magazine - they dropped the 'e' and "schuh" was born.

History in Brief[edit]

  • 1981: opened first store on Edinburgh’s North Bridge Arcade
  • 1983: schuh opens in Glasgow
  • 1984: First English store opens in Newcastle
  • 1990: Business is restructured and a new management team is established
  • 1991: schuh HQ moves to Livingston
  • 1992: schuh opens second store in Edinburgh and Glasgow along with Aberdeen and Newcastle
  • 1994: New stores in Nottingham, Leeds, Hull, Liverpool and Manchester
  • 1997: schuh opens first Ireland store in Dublin
  • 2004: opened first London store at 200 Oxford Street
  • 2008: 2nd London store opens in the Westfield London development
  • 2009: The schuh welly exchange appears at 5 UK festivals and wins a UK Festival award for Best Brand Activation.
  • 2010: Opens a ‘hometown’ store in Livingston
  • 2012: schuh is acquired by US corporation Genesco
  • 2012: schuh kids is launched
  • 2015: schuh opens its first stores outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland in the Centro shopping centre in Oberhausen, Germany.

Company Info[edit]

schuh HQ and distribution centre is in Livingston, Scotland with a Press Office and design studio in London. schuh trades profitably from their 100+ high street stores and their website. schuh had a turnover of £233 million in 2012/2013 generating a profit of £25.6 million.[3]

The company has a fully responsive site with a strong emphasis on "mobile first approach".[4]

schuh Kids[edit]

2012 saw the launch of schuh kids: the first expansion of the schuh brand since the company was acquired by Genesco in June 2011.

Since launch, the schuh kids store concept has proved extremely popular, receiving industry recognition with a POPAI interiors award in 2013.[5] schuh kids is now available in all stores as well as online.


schuh is predominantly a branded footwear stockist selling popular brands like Converse, adidas, Vans, Nike and UGG Australia as well as less known and more niche brands, and also the schuh own brand label which are designed by an in-house team of shoe designers. The schuh brand aspires to represent current fashion looks and trends. Besides footwear schuh also stocks shoe care products and accessories.

schuh Magazine[edit]

Launched in 1998, the schuh magazine was distributed through its stores with cover stars include Caprice, Katie Price and Gail Porter. The magazine was produced by the head office and combined features on the company and its footwear along with music and other pop culture subjects. The final schuh magazine was released in 2006.

schuh Welly Exchange[edit]

In 2009 schuh launched the schuh Welly Exchange at Scotland’s RockNess Festival. The schuh Welly Exchange swaps festival goers old shoes for wellington boots. The shoes are recycled by the Newlife Foundation. The schuh Welly Exchange has appeared at Bestival, Oxegen, Camp Bestival, Global Gathering, Creamfields, Summer Sundae and RockNess.

schuh Design Challenge[edit]

In partnership with West Lothian council, schuh launched the schuh Design Challenge in 1997. It has run every year since[6] and is aimed at promoting fashion design in schools located near its head office in Livingston.

Recent awards[edit]

[citation needed]

  • Winner: Scottish Fashion Awards 2013[1]
  • Winner: Gold Award in Flagship and Store category 2013
  • Winner: Drapers Footwear Awards: Multiple Footwear Retailer of the Year 2013
  • Winner: Insider Deals: Dealmaker Deal of the year 2012
  • Winner: Insider deals: Dealmaker Sale of the year 2012
  • Winner: Fabulous Magazine: Fabulous for stand-alone shoes 2012
  • Winner: Company high fashion awards: Best footwear under £150 2012
  • Winner: Drapers footwear & accessories awards: High street retailer of the year 2012
  • Winner: Retail Week Rising Star Awards: Customer Service Team of the Year 2011
  • Winner: Drapers Footwear Awards: Multiple Footwear Retailer of the Year 2011 winners
  • Winner: Drapers Footwear Awards: Multiple Footwear Retailer of the Year 2010
  • Winner: Drapers Footwear Awards: Etailer of the Year 2010
  • Winner: Drapers Etail Awards: Drapers Best Multichannel Retailer 2010
  • Winner: Drapers Footwear Awards: Young Fashion Footwear Retailer of the Year 2009
  • Winner: Drapers Footwear Awards: Men’s Footwear Retailer of the Year 2009
  • Winner: Drapers Etail Awards: Best Multichannel Retailer 2009
  • Winner: UK Festival Awards: Best Brand activation 2009
  • Winners' Sponsor: Lux Style Awards in Pakistan


  1. ^ a b "Winners Interview: Retailer of the Year Awards 2013". Scottish Fashion Awards. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  2. ^ Blackden, Richard (24 June 2011). "Schuh sales staff to share £37.3m windfall after US takeover". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  3. ^ Jeff, Dominic (12 June 2013). "Schuh delivers record profts (sic) of £25.6m". The Scotsman. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  4. ^ Charlton, Graham (15 September 2014). "Schuh's adoption of responsive and the importance of a 'mobile first' approach". econsultancy. econsultancy. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Flagship & Store Category Award". POPAI. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Emma wins Schuh Design Challenge". West Lothian Council. Retrieved 8 October 2014.

External links[edit]