Battling Peebles store owner finds business redemption after facing Covid-19 rule-breaking claims
A resilient Borders store owner has overcome Covid-19 rule-breaking allegations to see her businesses boom spectacularly post-lockdown.
Kerrie Guiney was baffled when she was reported to the police anonymously during lockdown for making non-essential travel to deliver children’s shoes across the Borders.
No action was ever taken against her but Kerrie stopped the visits to prevent a black mark against her two outlets in Peebles High Street, The Perfect Fit, a children’s footwear and clothing store which specialises in proper fitting of kids’ shoes, and the adjoining The Perfect Style, which only opened last September offering a personalised clothing service to ladies.
Despite that setback Kerrie’s return from lockdown has been nothing short of spectacular.
The award-winning children’s shoe store is fully booked for appointments for the next three weeks, with fittings every half hour.
Kerrie attributes the success to the loyalty of her customer base in Peebles and throughout the Borders.
And she remains adamant that she did nothing wrong when attempting to keep children fitted with the correct sized shoes during lockdown.
She said: “I got into a bit of trouble during lockdown when I was reported to the police for making non-essential travel.
"Children’s shoes are very much essential and it all got sorted out because I knew everything I was doing was right.
"Children’s shoes should have been classed as an essential service. If you could get a Chinese delivered why were you not able to get a pair of children’s shoes delivered? Thankfully, it was all sorted out.”
Kerrie, who has worked in retail for 20 years, added: “When we opened the new premises in September we really weren’t expecting a second lockdown and that came as a shock to the system.
"It was a scary time, but I have to say I feel very blessed that both stores have such a loyal customer base in Peebles and the surrounding towns, who supported us all through lockdown.
"We did online sales in the ladies shop and in the children’s store I was out doing remote show fittings all over the Borders, going to people’s houses and gardens and doing fittings because children’s shoes are very much essential and children’s feet grow every three to four months and there was nowhere to go.
"It's been a lot of hard work but we had no choice because we needed to keep two businesses going.
"I was able to furlough all my staff, which was great, but it also meant that I had to run two businesses on my own. It was tough but we’re fine.
"The shoe store is fully booked for the next three weeks, every half hour for shoe appointments. That is amazing and with the ladies store we have already got 15 personal styling appointments booked in. It’s looking really positive.