Kiwi shoe polish

Just before Christmas, in December 2022, a mysterious disappearance shocked the United Kingdom. Where was all the Kiwi shoe polish?

The company that owns the Kiwi brand is SC Johnson (SCJ). A customer service representative duly explained: “After a thorough evaluation, SC Johnson has decided to exit the Shoe Care business in the UK… With this decision, Kiwi will no longer be distributed by SCJ in this market.”

Good grief. Are Brits not wearing shoes any more? Turns out we are but, according to the Telegraph, not the right type. The rot really set in, of course, during the pandemic. Who needs shiny shoes when you’re not allowed out of the house? Why waste all that time buffing and polishing when you’re WFH?

The shoes we wear have changed, too. A Kiwi spokesperson remarked upon: “a rise in casual shoes that don’t require formal polishing”.

That’ll be trainers, then.

(An aside: What are we all training for?)

Some have seen this silencing of shininess as a grim symbol of the decline of modern Britain. I mean, we even stopped using shoe scrapers.

After all, SC Johnson will continue to sell the shoe polish in other nations around the globe. (That’ll do wonders for our carbon footprints: “Just popping to Canada to buy some shoe polish…”)

However, despite the demise of Kiwi, other shoe polishes are available. Next time you want to turn your shoes into mirrors — for a wedding, say, or funeral — you’ll still be able to do so. Just think of the heads you will turn if everyone else turns up in trainers.

Non-polishable shoes

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