Kurt Geiger, Europe's largest luxury shoe retailer and one of Britain's strongest footwear brands, has been bought by Jones Group for a price of $350m (£215m).

The news has surprised many shoe-loving shoppers, who were unaware of Jones Group's influence within the market. While its presence in the high street may be smaller than that of the more prominent and 'upscale' Kurt Geiger, Jones is in fact a huge force in the footwear market, having already purchased Nine West and Stuart Weitzman. The news follows hot on the heels German luxury-goods company Labelux's purchase of Jimmy Choo.

The move is expected to give Kurt Geiger a foothold in the US, where it has not yet penetrated the market to the extent is has in Europe. Jones Group have also indicated that the move should help them to diversify into the higher-end of the market.

Neil Clifford, the chief executive of Kurt Geiger, said: "America, in particular, is something we are very excited about in terms of opening stores in the major cities of the US in the next 12 to 18 months. I would be disappointed if it was not next year."

And while we're on the subject Kurt Geiger's sale is now on! Check it out here for some perilously tempting reductions.