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Iconic retailer Bells Shoes strikes deal to retain independent Buxton shop

Bells is continuing to trade as normal online and at its Spring Gardens store.
Bells is continuing to trade as normal online and at its Spring Gardens store.

Jobs have been saved and Buxton town centre will keep its independent shoe shop which has served the community for more than six decades.

In March, Bells Shoes made the shock announcement that it would be drawing its business operations to a close later this year.

But now it has emerged that a deal has been struck to keep open its popular store on Spring Gardens.

Keith Martin, head of the family business, said: “I am delighted to announce that my independent business will continue to serve our town and loyal customers as I have done for almost 60 years.”

And the 77-year-old said he has as much enthusiasm now as he had back in 1960 when he bought the business from the Bell family.

He said: “So many people expressed sadness when the store closure was announced in March.

“People’s concern for me and all their support has given me the encouragement to continue and I cannot wait to get started again.

“If I felt there was no future for Buxton I would never have made this commitment.

“Buxton has a great future and with the opening of our new five-star hotel in The Crescent we must all rise to the challenges which lie ahead.”

The shop will close on August 4 for refurbishment and new stock delivery and will re-open in mid-September.

Bells is continuing to trade as normal online at www.bellsshoes.co.uk.

Ed Martin, Bells Shoes director, said in March a ‘multitude of reasons’ were responsible for the closure announcement, with online shopping changes impacting on the decision.

His father, Keith, will now be running the independent store and the three Clarks franchise stores in Buxton, Leek and Macclesfield that were unaffected by the closure announcement with other son John.

Keith said: “Bells is a fine business and will survive the hostile environment we now find ourselves in.

“Shopping habits have changed and we must change with changing times.

“We will join with those long established business like Potter’s, Hargreaves and Son and Mycock’s the butcher to preserve the heritage we inherited from the long association with our town. So many people have pledged their support to reopening the shop and we look forward to welcoming you all once again.”