SUBMISSIONS for the Reading Retail Awards continue to flood in, with a Broad Street based shoe shop picking up a nomination.

Hotter Shoes has been put forward by satisfied customer John Rowley into the Service with a Smile category.

Formed in 1959 as a slipper company, Hotter Shoes approach to footwear is one based in comfort.

Come 1985 and Stewart Houlgrave, the heir to now one of Britain's largest footwear manufacturers, employed his experience as a travelling shoe salesman to create the fusion of comfort and style that beset the walls of the company's 81 outlets.

“Part of what stands us out is that 80 percent of our shoes are made in the country, in Lancashire. All the shoes that are made abroad are designed here in the UK,” said Simon Barlow, Store Manager of Hotter Shoes Reading.

“Also, the care we put into our customer service. The service is personal and the staff really do care about the customers.”

Mr Barlow, who has been with the company for six months, is a former nominee in the Reading Retail Award. “I was nominated for Manager of the Year when I was working at Yankee,” he said.

“I think it is a brilliant competition. It is great for business and a great opportunity for companies to get their names out there.”

“I watched in fascination as my wife tried on several pairs of shoes in different sizes shapes and colours and then went with the very first pair she tried on,” said Mr Rowley.

“The shop was heaving with people and only two sales assistants and yet both kept smiling and joking throughout the "ordeal".

“They must see and hear the same scenario everyday and yet I wish to commend them for their smiley faces and charming manner.”