A NATIONAL shoe shop chain is returning to Winchester nearly two years after closing down.

Jones Bootmaker, which occupied a prime spot in The Square, shut its doors last January after the company was purchased by Pavers Shoes.

At the time a sign on the door said "hopefully we will return to Winchester sometime in the future." Now, the store is set to reopen in the same road.

Caroline Shaw, area manager of Jones Bootmaker, said: "We are thrilled to return to Winchester City Centre. We know shoppers have requested this for a while and we’re delighted to finally make their wish come true with amazing quality shoes and timeless style."

The store will be selling footwear collections from major brands including Ecco, Bugatti, Gabor and Barbour.

Jones Bootmaker began in 1857 in London when Alfred Jones and his wife Emma opened their first footwear shop.

Parents to 11 sons and three daughters, the Jones were a large pioneering family, and the first traders to install electric lighting into their shops.

Each of the Jones sons were apprenticed to the shoe trade, subsequently opening their own stores trading under the name of Jones Bootmaker.

These stores found success by introducing stocks of ready-made shoes in three different widths, initiating a new tradition in shoe fitting industry that is still used today.