EXCLUSIVE: Midlands mobility retailer steps into distributor role after taking on Sandpiper Shoes
A family-ran mobility retailer based in Northampton is turning its hand to distribution after acquiring well-known shoe brand Sandpiper and is now firmly positioning the range solely in the mobility market.
Operating one of the largest mobility showrooms in the Midlands town, Oakley Healthcare started life as a second-hand bike shop over 40 years ago, before working on wheelchairs and mobility aids in the 1990s and 2000s.
In 2011, the company, owned by Phil Stanton, shifted exclusively into the healthcare and mobility market and moved into a 4,000 sq. ft showroom, selling a wide range of mobility equipment, including the specialist shoe brand.
In June 2018, THIIS interviewed Sandpiper Shoes’ former boss Michael Railton in its ‘More About’ feature, where he highlighted the value of specialist footwear as part of mobility retailers’ product portfolio for helping to drive repeat business.
In April 2019, the mobility retailer acquired the Sandpiper Shoes brand from its parent company Railtons and says it is planning to breathe new life into the footwear range.
Discussing what motivated the acquisition, Phil told THIIS: “We were presented with the opportunity and felt it would be a good investment within the industry. We have had experience as a mobility retailer selling Sandpiper footwear for over 10 years and have always been impressed with the quality and function of the footwear for our mobility retail consumers.
“We felt that by getting involved with Sandpiper we could bring fresh ideas and, by utilising our experience as a Sandpiper customer, improve the service offered to other mobility outlets stocking the brand.”
The company says that many of the existing Sandpiper team will remain in the company to ensure a smooth transition, with Phil assuring that mobility trade customers should notice relatively little difference day-to-day.
“It’s great to now be working as a combined team of Sandpiper and Oakley personnel to establish manufacturer relationships and continuing the supply of great products,” continued Phil.
“Team leaders from Customer Services, Marketing and Operations are still with the brand, despite the move to our premises in Northampton.”
Oakley Healthcare says the shoe brand will retain all of its key elements, with a firm focus on comfort, quality, functionality and customer service going forward, however, Phil did outline a change in market strategy for Sandpiper.
“In the last couple of years, the Sandpiper range had expanded to include footwear aimed at traditional high street footwear retailers but these have been phased out and our complete focus will be the Extra Wide and Ultra Wide footwear, aimed squarely at the mobility sector,” he confirmed.
For existing Sandpiper stockists, Phil said that retailers will start to see additional support from Sandpiper in the near future to help drive sales.
“Current stockists shouldn’t notice too many immediate changes, other than a different address on paperwork!” he underlined.
“We are working to install new footwear displays in many of our current mobility stockists to help push their sales forward and improve the look of the brand and products in store.
“Other planned changes to procedures and operations internally should also result in better service for our mobility customers in the months ahead.”
As the mobility retailer finds its feet in the new specialist shoe distribution arena, Phil finished: “With much more of a mobility-centric viewpoint for Sandpiper, we are looking to improve the current stockist network across the country.”
To find out more information, Sandpiper Shoes can be contacted at email@example.com or 01295 277377https://thiis.co.uk/exclusive-midlands-mobility-retailer-steps-into-distributor-role-after-taking-on-sandpiper-shoes/https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Sandpiper-Display-01.jpg?fit=1000%2C667&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Sandpiper-Display-01.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Mergers & AcquisitionsNewsroomRetailer NewsSupplier Newsdisplay units,distributor,footwear,mobility retailer,mobility shop,Northampton,Oakley Healthcare,Phil Stanton,Railton,Sandpiper Shoes,shoes,specialist shoesA family-ran mobility retailer based in Northampton is turning its hand to distribution after acquiring well-known shoe brand Sandpiper and is now firmly positioning the range solely in the mobility market. Operating one of the largest mobility showrooms in the Midlands town, Oakley Healthcare started life as a second-hand bike...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine