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Following in the footsteps of on-screen shoe addicts, such as Carrie Bradshaw, Britain’s love affair with shoes has continued to gather pace. Indeed, latest research from MINTEL finds that over the past five years sales of shoes have grown faster in Britain, than anywhere else in Europe. Spending on footwear (including VAT) has risen by no less than 38% since 2001 alone, to reach just over £6.5 billion (9.4 billion Euros) this year. What is more, the market is expected to see continued growth, with sales increasing by 17% between 2006 and 2010, to reach £7.6 billion (11.1 billion Euros). Meanwhile, in France and Italy, the countries many of us associate with sophisticated fashion and style, growth in shoe sales has faltered. Although the Italians spend the most on shoes, with the footwear market here set to reach 14.6 billion Euros by the end of the year, growth has been only around 1% over the past five years. France too has seen only a marginal increase in spend, as sales have risen just 4% since 2001.