POLISH brand Kiwi will stop selling its products in the UK as the rise of working from home and casual footwear kills off Brits’ appetite for shiny shoes.The household name brand is reacting to a trend which has seen the popularity of sneakers rise among Brits.
2Shoe polish brand Kiwi will stop selling its products in the UKCredit: Alamy
Kiwi will continue to sell its shoe-shining products elsewhere across the globe, but says appeal in the UK market has dwindled.
Shoe repair and cleaning worker David James, 62, has seen the shift of consumers taking up more casual footwear.
For the last century, David’s family have been involved in the industry and he says Kiwi’s exit is “a sign of the times.”
He told MailOnline: “In part this is because people wear suits and smart shoes much less.
“Covid accelerated that with more working from home, but a trend was in place before then.
“Also, trainers are being worn more and more – even to work.
“While shoes are dying, trainers are alive. We now renovate sneakers – repair and paint them.”
A company spokesperson said Kiwi was reacting to the drop in Brits polishing their shoes which has been accelerated by an ever-growing trend of sneakers being a more popular choice.
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Kiwi will remain selling its products in countries where the wearing of formal shoes has not seen a downturn.
The company, established in 1906, got its name from its Australian founder William Ramsay who dubbed the brand Kiwi after his wife who was from New Zealand.
It was taken to Europe just two years later and was taken over by Sara Lee Corporation in 1984, before being resold in 2011 to S.C. Johnson which is looking to focus on other items.
The undoubtable gap which will be left in Kiwi’s departure is being viewed as an opportunity for its biggest competitor, British firm Cherry Blossom, which was also launched in 1906.
Marketing chief, Natasha Seal-Jones, said: “There’s always a place for a shine in your step.
“Be it a job interview, a wedding or a party, having shiny, clean shoes gives confidence and that need will never disappear. We want to give that confidence.”
2Kiwi will …