Shoe Zone is not the sort of retailer to which City types rush to spend their bonuses, or their regular salaries for that matter.

Shoe Zone is not the sort of retailer to which City types rush to spend their bonuses, or their regular salaries for that matter.

But the footwear specialist hopes the Square Mile will open its wallet to enable a listing on AIM and allow its entrepreneurial owners to realise some of their investment.

Shoe Zone has some strengths. Its value positioning and acquisitions over the years have helped turn it into one of the top 10 players in the market, it is highly cost-conscious and, despite catering for a CDE customer demographic, has created a profitable online business.

However, Shoe Zone does not have a completely unblemished record. Retail Week Knowledge Bank data shows profit volatility over the past few years and the acquisition of Stead & Simpson proved controversial.

Shoe Zone picked up the footwear retailer from administrators in 2008, giving it a middle-market brand to complement its value business. Four years later Tyler Ltd, the Shoe Zone subsidiary that ran Stead & Simpson, was itself put into administration, thereby removing lease obligations.

Shoe Zone is not the only retailer to have had ups and downs in recent years so the question is the extent to which past performance might indicate future prospects.

Morrisons’ core business is still what matters

Morrisons is expected to launch its online business in London later this month, a little earlier than expected.

While the grocer is right to get into ecommerce – and London, where its stores are under-presented, is probably a good opportunity – the fortunes of its fledgling online offer are less significant than those of its core business.

In March the embattled retailer unveiled a new strategy including price cuts designed to fend off fast-growing Aldi and Lidl.

In the end it will be the success or failure of that strategy in the face of what Morrisons described as a structural shift in the grocery market that will make the difference.