Home / British Shoemaker Opens Store in Africa to Hedge Covid-19 Crisis in Europe

British Shoemaker Opens Store in Africa to Hedge Covid-19 Crisis in Europe

Birmingham, UK, 21 August 2020 – OMES, a British footwear manufacturer specialised in clogs and mules, announces the opening of its first store in Douala (Cameroon). The store, called “The House of Shoes”, brings under one roof the collections of OMES and several African shoe brands.

“Since 2016, OMES manufactures wooden clogs in Cameroon and export them around the world. But the closure of borders due to the coronavirus crisis forced us to review our strategy,” said Victor Semo, Head of Operations at OMES. “A close analysis of our data revealed that African economies were more resilient than others during this pandemic. Africa was the best place to invest.”

“We found that the Covid-19 crisis accelerates deglobalisation and the anti-racist movements like Black Lives Matter attract more African consumers to buy shoes made in Africa. They challenge the colonial mentality that perceives European products superior to local ones. Our store meets these expectations by promoting our shoes and those of local footwear designers and makers.”

A unique destination for shoe aficionados, The House of Shoes provides a direct access to over 250 models of shoes at 20 to 70% discounts all year long. Sandals, boots, oxford or still stilettos, various styles can be found for children, men and women, from the size EU20 to 50.

In addition, customers can design their own shoes, have them custom made and delivered anywhere in the world in 30 days. Another novelty is the opportunity to discover the art of shoemaking with workshops organised every Saturday afternoon to learn how to make or repair shoes.

From its beginning OMES has been committed to circular fashion by making recyclable clogs. Naturally the store design echoes this sustainability ethos by using recycled eco-friendly materials. There is a repair and recycling service with an atelier where customer can get their old shoes upgraded.

Speaking about the opening of the store, Serge Somo, Director of the brand Chaka said: “We are delighted to collaborate with OMES. The House of Shoes is an original concept that will raise awareness of the African shoe industry”.

Vidal, maître bottier, added: “For those of us who make custom shoes and don’t have a physical store, the partnership with OMES will bring new opportunities.”

The House of Shoes is located in Bonamoussadi (Douala, Cameroon) next to the Saint James Hotel. It is open Monday to Saturday 10:00am – 7:00pm