16:52 GMT19 April 2021
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    Shoe Zone has been left limping financially by the coronavirus pandemic, and has said it must foot the bill for a £12 million debt run up during the lockdown, while the chain closed 40 shops nationwide in 2020.

    UK footwear retailer Shoe Zone has fittingly hired Terry Boot as its new finance director — replacing Peter Foot.

    The boot was firmly on the other foot as the discount chain announced the appointment on Monday, three weeks before April Fools' Day.

    "We are delighted that Terry has agreed to join Shoe Zone and are confident that his considerable experience will strengthen the board," Shoe Zone CEO Anthony Smith said.

    Boot got his foot in the door after his predecessor's premature exit. Foot didn't get the boot from the firm, but instead quit in February after just just seven months.

    Boot should prove a good fit at Shoe Zone after four years at the Company of Master Jewellers following tenures at footwear firms Brantano and Jones Bootmaker.

    But his chance to stamp his mark on the firm comes as the industry is reeling from the sock of the coronavirus pandemic with non-essential shops shut during the third lockdown.

    Shoe Zone has said it must foot the bill for a £12 million debt stemming from losses during the lockdown before it can pay another dividend to shareholders — which may not be until 2025. The copmpany said it closed 40 outlets in the UK in 2020, leaving it with 430 stores.


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