A staggering 500 people applied for just 10 jobs in a new Bexleyheath shoe store.

The opening of the new shuh shop in Broadway Shopping Centre revealed how there remains a desperate clamour for jobs in the borough's retail sector.

For one of the new sales assistants, Stefan Gerrish, 31, the position bought an end to an eight-month spell of unemployment.

Mr Garrish, who lives in Welling, said: "I worked for Blockbuster in Welling and Gravesend for around two years before I was made redundant along with everyone else in the company.

"It wasn’t easy as there was hardly anything around and at one stage I was applying for about five jobs every week without success. 

"It wasn’t until right at the end that I started to get a few interviews but nothing came of them.
"Then I applied for this role and I was absolutely delighted when I got it."

Gravesend-based Amy Scutts, 25, who is manager of the new Broadway store and has been with schuh for the past four years, said:  "We had a total of around 500 people applying for the permanent jobs at the new store, which we got down to a shortlist of 20 and then spent a whole fortnight interviewing face-to-face as we like to get the right people."

Other professions in Bexley are also still recovering from the financial crisis.

News Shopper: Gerri Spiers with her sandwich board

Earlier this year News Shopper revealed how 50-year-old former PA Gerri Spiers from nearby Shooters Hill had resorted to wearing a sandwich board to find a job.

Ms Spiers said: "I was applying for a couple of hundred jobs a week at least and I got around 10 interviews.

"But for every job I was up against 300 other applicants."

After struggling to find a job for three months, she targeted London Bridge and Victoria with her sign.