Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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J. Sears and Co

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of Northampton

1891 Manufacturing business established by John and William Sears and initially traded as bootmakers under the name of Trueform.

1897 First retail operation opened

1912 The J Sears and Co (True-Form Boot Co) Ltd was incorporated as a going concern to carry on the business carried on under the name of J Sears and Co and the True-Form Boot Co by John George Sears and William Thomas Sears, at the Factory, Northampton and numerous retail establishments around the country[1]

1929 Acquired Freeman, Hardy and Willis.

The company had its own retail branches in all large towns in the British Isles. The retail price of all goods was stamped on the sole in the factories and the shoes were stored in the adjoining warehouse, capable of accommodating half-a-million pairs. The distribution to the retail branches was made weekly, mainly by road.

1953 Acquired by Investment Registry. Charles Clore became chairman[2]

1954 Sold most of the shop properties to free up funds to invest in the business.

1954 Acquired Haverton Holdings, which owned Furness Shipbuilding Co and controlled Bentley Engineering Co as well as other subsidiaries[3]

1955 The name of the group was to be changed to Sears Holdings at the Annual meeting. The footwear interests of the group had been concentrated in Freeman, Hardy and Willis.[4]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times , Feb 21, 1912
  2. The Times Apr 10, 1953
  3. The Times, Sep 15 1954
  4. The Times, Saturday, Oct 16, 1954