The Friary Shoes store

The boss of an independent Lichfield shoe store say they are confident that their 116-year-old business won’t be beaten by coronavirus.

Friary Shoes, based at the Three Spires Shopping Centre is owned by Adam and Tracey Lumb.

Smiths, which went on to become Friary Shoes

It was originally launched by Adam’s great-grandfather in 1904 as a cobblers based on Lombard Street called Smiths.

It went on to rebrand and was based elsewhere in the city before moving to its current location.

And despite the challenges of the current crisis, Adam said he remained positive over the future of the business.

“Not all consumers want to buy shoes online and prefer the experience of shopping instore where they can receive a more personal one-on-one approach to choosing their shoes.

“We are certainly looking very positively at the changing times ahead as we adapt our business to meet these needs.

“Over the last century the business has witnessed and survived many global and historic catastrophes, including two world wars and many recessions.

“It’s our passion for the shoe industry, alongside our determination in always trying something new, even if we make mistakes along the way, that makes us a success.

“We know we are good at what we do and that keeps us motivated.”

Adam Lumb

“Opportunities to flourish and grown again”

Adam says the shop has sold more than eight million shoes since it began trading.

The former Friary Shoes store in 1985

And while he admitted that the challenges of coronavirus and the rise of the internet were real, he believes there is still plenty of demand for traditional retailers.

“There aren’t many independent shoe specialists left – but once this situation with the pandemic is over, there are definitely opportunities to flourish and grow again. 

““This business has weathered many storms and as we adjust our business strategy to accommodate to the ‘new normal’ way of working as well as putting our customers’ needs first, then we can certainly get through the next few months and into spring 2021 with confidence.”

Adam Lumb

Lisa Prokopiou, manager of the Three Spires Shopping Centre, hailed the efforts of the team at Friary Shoes.

“It’s an honour to have a retailer such as Friary Shoes located at our centre.

“Not only is it steeped in impressive history and shoe-selling experience, it’s a business which has been lovingly passed down through generations of the store’s family, with each putting its own stamp on it whilst continuing to make it the success it has become today. 

“And, with such a solid background and an excellent reputation it’s no wonder Friary Shoes is still a popular choice in the current market.

“Adam, Tracey and the team do an amazing job and I’m sure they will continue to do so for a long time to come.”

Lisa Prokopiou


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.