SHOPPERS in East Lancashire may have noticed a change in services if they’ve been venturing into their local branches of Timpson this week.

The high street shoe repair, key cutter and retailer which has around 2,100 branches nationwide has in fact been short staffed over this week as staff have been allowed to take an extra day of to take their children back to school.

As such branches in the Mall Blackburn, the Accrington Arndale, Charter Walk Shopping Centre and Howe Walk, Burnley and Castle Street, Clitheroe are all likely to have moved a little more slowly over the past week.

Chief executive James Timpson said: “If you find our shops a bit short staffed this week, I’m sorry.

“We have a colleague benefit where you get an extra day off when your kids have their first day at school, so a number of colleagues are doing a very special job away from their shops!”

The company is well known for the autonomy it allows its 5,600 employees to maintain.

Senior management will look after company finances, however much of the day-to-day running of shops around the country is handled by workers on the ground floor, a style they call “upside down management”.

As well as the first week back at school, employees are also permitted to take birthdays off and take a week of work if they get married.

The company is also well known for giving ex-offenders second chances to rebuild normal lives, regularly sending representatives to prisons to talk about employment opportunities.

Service at Timpson should return to normal from the start of next week.