Bells Shoes announces shock decision to close

Bells Shoes in Buxton and the factory on Dew pond lane will cease trading in September, picture google maps
Bells Shoes in Buxton and the factory on Dew pond lane will cease trading in September, picture google maps

A Buxton shoe retailer has made a shock announcement that it will cease trading later this year.

Bells Shoes, which has been selling shoes in the town for 128 years, said this week it intended to continue trading online and in its high street store as normal until the end of September.

Its three Clarks franchise stores in Buxton, Macclesfield and Leek are unaffected.

It is as yet unclear exactly how many jobs are affected by the proposed closure, but on its website the Dew Pond Lane based-company says it employs 50 people.

Ed Martin, Bells Shoes director, said: “It is with deep regret that we have decided to draw all of our business operations to a close.

“We intend to trade on both our website and in our high street store as normal until the end of September 2018.

“There has been a multitude of reasons which have not been taken lightly. These include drastic changes in our supply chain in recent months, changes in the wider business environment and the many challenges that a retail business with a model like Bells Shoes faces both today and in the next few years.”

Mr Martin said staff were aware of the situation and the company would “continue to be fair, honest and offer as much support as possible at this difficult time”.

He added: “We would like to thank our customers for their loyalty over the years and their anticipated continued loyalty over the closure period.

“Retail is changing and we believe a controlled exit is the best course of action to follow for the Bells Shoes business.”

Reacting to the news, High Peak MP Ruth George said: “This is obviously a big blow to the area.

“This will cause a loss of jobs for a lot of people, but I have visited the job centres in both Buxton and Glossop and know there is a relatively good employment market which is actively seeking experienced staff, so I hope those made redundant will be able to find work again.”