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Featured in the November 2015 issue

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A retail career now spanning more than three decades has given Jim Luck of Luck of Louth plenty of opportunity to see trends come and go but he still considers that his best asset is knowing his customers and offering them outstanding products and excellent service.

I have been welcoming my customers throughout the years and their loyalty is something that I never take for granted. I started off working on my own but now my team here give me exceptional support and I am always confident they can do the job equally as well as I can,” said Jim.

Jim was in his early thirties when he decided to leave the employment of Peter Forbes, another well-known Louth retailer, and set out on his own. “I did take a big risk to fund my new business on Eastgate, which then only stocked leathergoods and luggage,” he continued, “but I wanted to prove that I could achieve something in retail on my own.

“I was not a naturally gregarious person when I started in retailing, so like many others of a similar disposition had to overcome my hesitancy in engaging with people but my ambition to create a thriving business helped me deal with and overcome this.”

The first premises opened in 1985 and now there is twenty times the original floor space across a total of five units still stocking the finest, well-known brands that customers recognise for quality and style. Jim has always been involved in planning, renovating and updating the floor space, including the expansion into the first floor as demand grew.

Jim’s rule of thumb when buying has always been to stock brands that offer the quality and value that he himself would like to buy. As well as Samsonite, The Bridge and Radley – who all supply handbags, luggage and leathergoods – the menswear ranges include international names such Meyer, Magee, Seidensticker, RM Williams and Superdry. There is a large selection of countrywear for both ladies and gentlemen from many of the market leaders, including Dubarry, Barbour and Schoffel, whilst the men’s footwear department offers – as well as RM Williams – Loake and Anatomic. All of which means that Luck of Louth is now recognised as probably the county’s leading independent traditional clothing, footwear and countrywear specialist. These exceptional brands, which Jim Luck takes great pride in promoting, are in his opinion the ones that his customers appreciate and expect to find in Luck of Louth.

“I still enjoy the variety and challenge of retail,” he added. “I think we understand our core customers’ tastes and I am always refining these ranges but I am always looking for those up-and-coming brands which excite not just the traditional shopper but the younger ones as well. I like to think that we have built some excellent relationships with our suppliers and it always excites me to see them progress their brands too.”

The Luck of Louth website is a showcase for their stock, too, although most shoppers still prefer to shop in person. “I have enjoyed being involved with other Louth retailers to promote the town as a worthwhile and pleasurable place to visit and shop. Louth has really grown as a town for independent retailers while I have been in business and I am pleased that Luck of Louth adds to that mix of quality shops that attracts people here.”

Jim continues to be recognised as a leader in the independent retailer field. His experience, retail knowledge and successful management of his business led to him being invited to attend a Retail Masters Forum at Oxford University. Jim was one of only six independent retailers from across the country to attend and it helped him gain further confidence that his own approach applied to independent retailing was actually not so different to the ‘big boys’.

Jim still finds that his hobbies of running, squash and cycling can help him unwind and put aside any business concerns. “They help me to clear my head but still require the focus and determination which drives my business activities,” he said. The running comes in useful, when Jim spots some foliage or other natural artefacts which he can use to enhance his attractive window displays.

“We are just coming into one of our busiest times of the year. New stock is arriving nearly every day so there are plenty of winter boots and clothing to unpack to help fend off whatever cold and wet weather is thrown at us,” said Jim. And with that he set about his next task still full of energy and enthusiasm for the business he started thirty years ago.

FASTIDIOUS ABOUT FOOTWEAR
Five years ago Jim invested in his most recent expansion, into 81–83 Eastgate, with a purpose-built shoe shop stocking ranges for men and women. Never one to undertake a task in a half-hearted way, Jim studied for and qualified as a shoe fitting expert with the Society of Shoe Fitters in 2013 – indeed all his hard work culminated in his being assessed as 2013’s Student Foot Fitter of the Year. As he says: “Not too bad for someone north of sixty!”

With leading names for men such as Loake, RM Williams and Anatomic available in the original shop, the same principle of buying quality, known brands is used for the shoe shop, where the focus is more, although not exclusively, on women’s footwear. Customers will find ranges by Josef Seibel, FitFlop, Dr Martens, Geox, and Reiker – not forgetting of course the flagship Danish brand Ecco. New for autumn are footwear collections from Sketchers and Joules.

The team in the shoe shop pride themselves on being able to offer an expert fitting service, which takes into consideration the vagaries associated with foot health and shoe comfort. The aim is to find the most appropriate shoes to fit and of course suit the taste of customers. Whatever the occasion or season, they are sure they will have something to suit.

And for Christmas there is not only a superb range of new season outdoor boots and shoes but also a “best ever” selection of indoor footwear, slippers and socks.

LUCK OF LOUTH’S SUPERDRY COMPETITION
As part of Luck of Louth’s celebrations, enter their 30th anniversary competition.

Superdry premium fashion and accessories combine British design with the spirit of Japan. High quality fabrics and intricate detailing fuse vintage Americana with Japanese graphics. These future classics are loved across the generations.

Now you have the chance to win a Superdry ‘his and hers’ T-shirt up to the value of £50 from Luck of Louth.

All you have to do is solve the two questions below and send your answers to Lincolnshire Life.

In which year was Jim Luck voted Student Foot Fitter of the Year?
Which two new footwear collections are available from Luck of Louth this autumn?

Competition closes Monday 30th November. The winner will be the first correct answer drawn after this date. The judge’s decision is final. The prize cannot be exchanged for a cash equivalent. The winner must be able to visit Louth to choose their
prize from stock at Luck of Louth.

Send your answers on a postcard or sealed envelope to: Lincolnshire Life, Luck of Louth Anniversary Competition, 9 Checkpoint Court, Sadler Road, Lincoln LN6 3PW or email your answer to: accounts@lincolnshirelife.co.uk

CHRISTMAS AT LUCK OF LOUTH
Luck of Louth have ideas for the whole family – even for the man who has everything and that difficult-to-buy-for teenager. You need only take a browse through the beautifully presented window displays to see a small selection of what waits inside.

FOR HIM
As the county’s leading stockist of countrywear, Luck of Louth has a selection of the leading brands.

The Barbour range of jackets, coats and accessories has been synonymous with British made durability and craftsmanship for many years.

Take a look at this season’s new styles from Schoffel. Warm fleeces, cosy gilets, coats, shirts, breeks, stylish shooting socks and accessories.

The Bridge leather bags for women (and of course men) include formal briefcases and messenger bags to more casual, across the shoulder and wrist bags – their purses and wallets are particularly popular as a premium gift.

Australian inspired outdoor and casual wear from RM Williams includes boots, belts, trousers and shirts. Meyer classic trousers and jeans will always be appreciated.

For an extra special gift why not buy him a personally tailored suit? Measuring is required, but this suit is made to personal specifications and is exceptional value for money.

Finally, for pockets not quite so deep, there are ranges of classic and contemporary socks by Falke, a wide choice of country and city inspired ties plus plenty of those hard to find gentleman’s accessories such as cufflinks, gun cleaning kits, tie pins, handkerchiefs, wallets and coin purses.

FOR HER
Radley handbags and accessories, are synonymous with quality and fun design. Luck of Louth stock the latest collections with purses, wallets, makeup and wash bags to complement the newest colourways.

Buy her a Radley bag to coordinate with an outfit from the ladies countywear collections by Barbour, Schoffel or Dubarry.

The brilliant designs of Cath Kidston will delight any lady. There are floral inspired prints for handbags, travel and bathing accessories, rucksacks, glasses cases and much, much more…

Fabulous wellies from market-leading countrywear supplier Joules, or memory foam trainers from Skechers will no doubt be on many a girl’s Christmas wishlist!

Whisking her away? Luck of Louth has a range of Samsonite travel bags, cases and accessories to suit the most stylish of travellers.

FOR YOUNGSTERS
Countrywear makes a statement on the catwalk too, and brands like Barbour have brought a new audience of fashion conscious youngsters to the label.

A pair of Dubarry boots is a must for any country girl – perfect with jeans or a skirt when out and about – choose from the widest and best selection of Dubarry products in Lincolnshire.

Luck of Louth are stockists of leading leisurewear label Superdry, which youngsters (of all ages!) adore. Their brightly coloured T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, footwear and accessories will always be a welcome gift.

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