AN OWNER of two shoe stores has taken over the reins of a business that has been trading successfully in a town for 50 years.

Hal Holmes-Pierce, 31, owns Elevate Your Sole and has stores in Prestatyn and Rhos-on-Sea; earlier this year he moved into bigger premises in Prestatyn, from 108 High Street to the shop at 170 - the former Nouveau Riche.

Hal has now taken over Simon Baker shoes in Llandudno.

The brand has been trading in the town under Jeffrey Duckenfield, affectionately known as ‘Mr D’ by his staff members, in partnership with his son Robert Duckenfield.

Hal said: "It’s the end of an era and the start of a new one.

"I’m really excited to continue the fantastic work of Jeff and Rob and I’m looking forward to meeting the lovely people of Llandudno.

North Wales Pioneer:

Simon Baker shoe shop in Llandudno. New owner Hal Holmes-Pierce with manager Bethan Betts. Picture: Kerry Roberts, KR040719b

"There will be the same familiar faces with the Simon Baker team all coming across into the elevate your sole family."

The store in Llandudno will be known, officially, as Simon Baker by Elevate your Soul.

Hal, who opened his Prestatyn store in 2013 and Rhos store in 2016, said talk - about taking over Simon Baker - started as 'playful speak'.

He added: "It went back and forth. It was playful as Jeffrey and Rob were looking to retire and I was looking to expand.

"The store has got an amazing reputation. All the staff have a wealth of experience and are committed to the brand.

"I have got a lot of faith in the people who work with me. Jackie in Prestatyn has been with me for a long time and Amanda is going to be looking after the Prestatyn side too. The manager in the Llandudno store has been there she was 14 and she is 28 now. That shows home-grown talent, it is very promising.

"Pre-Simon Baker, we had a record April and figures were even better in May.

"We had a soft launch of the Llandudno store on Friday and a relaunch party on the Saturday.

"I'd like to wish Jeffrey and Rob a very happy retirement."