‘Amazon can deliver, so why can’t I?’: Scottish shoe shop owner's police warning over deliveries

The owner of a children’s shoe shop in the Borders has been contacted by police for breaching lockdown rules – for delivering customers’ orders within her own council area.

Kerrie Guiney was phoned by police to be told she had breached lockdown rules.
Kerrie Guiney was phoned by police to be told she had breached lockdown rules.

Kerrie Guiney, who runs The Perfect Fit in Peebles, was shocked when she received a phone call from police this morning telling her she had breached lockdown regulations, saying that someone had reported her after seeing a post on her Facebook profile advertising her business.

As she had done for four months during the previous lockdown, Ms Guiney, who has run the shop for three years, offered a delivery service to local customers – and also gave advice on measuring children’s feet by advising parents at a distance outside of their homes on how to use measurement gauges.

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Under the latest lockdown regulations, children’s shoes are classed as essential retail, while all businesses are allowed to offer an online order and delivery service.

She said: “I got a phone call this morning from the police saying someone had reported me after seeing a video I had posted to Facebook about doing fittings in Galashiels and I was being charged with breaching the covid regulations. They said I wasn’t going to be fined on this occasion, but that I wouldn’t be allowed to travel anywhere else or do deliveries. There is a flag against my name and if I do anything else, I will be fined.

"What was strange was, at first, they spoke about me doing fittings and when I explained how I do them – that I’m not going in anyone’s house, that they’re all outside and that I’m offering the parents advice – the officer said he needed to go away and speak to his boss. Then when he phoned me back, he said the fittings wasn’t the problem, it was the ‘non-essential’ travel. I was absolutely gobsmacked.”

Ms Guiney said that she believed that what she was doing was acceptable within the current guidelines and that she was reducing the need for people to be travelling by doing a single journey to the town.

She said: "With children’s shoes, they need to be measured and I need to be able to offer parents options that fit due to the shape and size of the foot. The damage that can be caused if children are wearing a badly-fitting shoe is huge.

"I can’t afford to pay a £1,000 fine, so that means I just have to stop doing what I was doing. They’re not letting me try to keep going. I feel a bit deflated. I don’t offer deliveries outside of my own council areas – I would be allowed to travel to the supermarket in Galashiels, which is 20 minutes away, so why can’t I deliver there? Also, shops like Amazon are allowed to do deliveries, so why can’t I?”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "We can confirm that a woman was spoken to by officers in the Peebles area on Thursday, 14 January, 2021.

"She was given advice by officers about operating a business within the current guidelines. No further enforcement action was required."

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