NORTH EAST-based family firm Charles Clinkard has been independently judged best footwear retailer in the UK by the prestigious Which? consumer magazine.

In a nationwide survey of shoe and boot shops, the chain, which has more than 30 stores across the country, came out on top gaining five stars for product quality, in store experience and service.

It was also singled out for praise for its measuring and size guidance saying that everyone knows that size matters when choosing comfortable shoes and boots.

The company compared well to other shoe retailers, such as Clarks and Schuh, and held off competition from department store giants John Lewis and Marks and Spencer to gain the top overall score.

Managing Director Charles Clinkard said: “It is a tremendous accolade for the business and our staff to be named as the best in the country. It is independent verification that we are fulfilling our long-held objectives of offering great service and a variety of fantastic brands.

“Outstanding customer service is what keeps customers coming back and we count our commitment to that as one of the reasons we have been successful.”