Parents in Newcastle and surrounding area can benefit from a new trial service at M&S Newcastle and Metro Centre stores, offering a children’s shoe fitting service to complete the full range of Back to School options available.

Ahead of the busiest day for Back to School shoe shopping (Saturday 26th August), M&S has introduced dedicated Footwear Fitting Advisors in 36 stores to help parents and their little ones find the right shoes for the new term.

It’s the first time M&S has offered the service, with training being rolled out to 750 colleagues to ensure they can offer assistance and advice on measurement, fit and style. For Newcastle customers it means whenever they want to purchase their kids school shoes there will be an advisor ready to help.

The new service launches as the College of Podiatry has released research showing 29 per cent of British children could be wearing shoes which are completely the wrong size. The practical training for M&S colleagues included understanding the development of the foot from baby through to teen and basic principles of good fitting shoes for foot health.

Niamh De Frinse, Kids’ Footwear Technologist at M&S said, “There’s lots for customers to think about to get the kids ready for the new term and properly fitted footwear is an important part of that. We want to be the retailer of choice for parents this ‘Back to School’ season, not just for the kids’ uniform, but for their shoes too. Our customers have told us that offering a fitting advice service will give them the confidence to make that important purchase with us and if the trial is successful we hope to offer this service at even more of our stores in the future”.

Jonathan Strickland, Store Manager at M&S Newcastle, said: “At M&S we’re committed to offering the very best service for all our customers. We know the fitting services we already offer in lingerie and suits are really helpful for our customers, giving them the assurance they need making these purchases. I’m proud that the kidswear team can now advise customers how to select a great fitting shoe for their child. The feedback from parents has already been very positive. I urge customers to pop in and chat to them about our Back to School range, and take advantage of the free fitting and style advice”.

The fitting trial is part of M&S’s continued effort to offer the very best services for customers – earlier in the year it increased investment for walk in bra fit and last year feedback from 7,000 customers led to the recruitment of 3,000 more colleagues into departments where service is most valued, including suit fitting.

M&S has also created a handy printable fitting guide for parents who want to purchase shoes online.