Since 1987, the name Sue Read has been an ever-present fixture not only amongst the Harleston business community, but also on the streetscape of the town itself.
But while the brand is set to continue on, the woman behind it will call it a day at the end of this month, 30 years on from launching Sue Read Shoes Ltd, and almost 40 years after she first entered the town’s business scene.
Mrs Read, whose last official day is Saturday, February 25, paid tribute to the many people who had helped to make the shop a success, including some staff members who have been with the shop since the opening year, and she said “now the time is right” to hand over the reins.
She told the Diss Express: “I have enjoyed my 30 years in business. Harleston is a lovely town, and how friendly and caring people are. The Harleston and District Business Forum work very hard to promote the town.
“I would like to add a word of thanks to my many loyal customers, and to my wonderful staff, who are very dear friends, and I know they will continue to give the helpful service to all the customers.”
Having first moved to the town in 1972 with her husband Clive, Mrs Read took over operations of the shoe department at the traditional family store WH Stacey & Son Ltd — commonly referred to in Harleston by its nickname, Stacey’s — in 1979.
Eight years later, she purchased the shoe business, before relocating in 1999 to bigger premises over the road, in The Thoroughfare, where it has remained ever since.
Mrs Read said the shop would retain her name under its incoming new leadership, as well as the existing staff and the same brands of footwear it currently sells.
She added that her retirement will include “several plans to travel” and spending more time with her 95-year-old mother, who lives in a care home.
To learn more about Sue Read Shoes, please contact 01379 854332, or alternatively visit the shop’s website at www.suereadshoesltd.com