Buyer found for shoe shops

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FIVE shoe stores have been sold and about 50 jobs safeguarded after one of Scotland’s oldest retail chains put itself up sale.

Dundee-based DE Shoes, whose parent company William Smith Shoes was founded 146 years ago, put its 31 stores on the market this year after admitting it was facing difficulties.

Four of DE’s 27 outlets – in Elgin, Inverurie, Kirkwall and Lerwick – along with a Foot Factory shop in Peterhead have now been sold to Inverness-based Begg Shoes and Bags.

William Smith managing director Robert Sinclair said a decision on the future of the rest of the business is expected to be made within two weeks. “We are continuing to consult with interested parties looking to take on any of the remaining stores as going concerns and see this as the best way to avoid or reduce further … redundancies.”