Qifeng Shoes Machine-The owner of shoe retailer Stead & Simpson is to close 90 stores following a “thorough review” of the business.
The news is a further blow to Britain’s beleaguered high street, which has seen a number of recent high-profile failures, including Clinton Cards, Comet, JJB Sports and Peacocks.
Stead & Simpson began life in 1834 as a leather merchant in Leeds. It floated in 1981 and was taken over eight years later by Clayform Properties, which went into administration in 1993.
In 2005, Bank of Scotland backed a £50 million management buyout of the business, but the chain went into administration in 2008 and was acquired by current owner Shoe Zone.
Naomi Shefford, marketing and property director at Shoe Zone said: “We have undertaken a thorough review of the Stead & Simpson business over the last few months which has culminated in the winding up of Tyler Ltd, the company that Stead & Simpson stores trade under.”
Stead & Simpson currently has 227 stores, of which 90 are to be shut, although the group was unable to say where the closures will take place.
Shefford said: “Our staff are our number one priority and we appreciate the store closures have not been easy for them. However, where we have a Shoe Zone or another Stead & Simpson store near to any closures, we are doing everything we can to ensure our staff keep their jobs within the business.”
-From Qifeng Shoes Machine