Josef Seibel has been stocked by well-known family footwear retailer, Charles Clinkard, since 2003. The enduring and thriving professional partnership between the two businesses is a great example of the success that can be achieved when companies work together and share information to mutual benefit, through good times and even more importantly when the trading environment is more challenging.
Like Josef Seibel, Clinkard is a third generation, family owned, business. Founded in 1924 by Eveline and Charles Clinkard, the company is now run by their grandson, also Charles. The ethics and ethos of this renowned footwear business are rooted in these family values.
From their first shop in Middlesbrough, where the company retains its head office to this day, Charles Clinkard gradually evolved, introducing children’s footwear and then opening shops across the North of England in the 1960s and 70s and moving throughout the South over the next two decades. Today Clinkard has 35 stores in towns and cities across the UK and in 2016 opened a new £3 million pound purpose-built head office facility.
Managing Director at Charles Clinkard, Tim Payne, said “Outstanding service and looking after the whole family has always been at the heart of everything Charles Clinkard stands for and this has never been more important. Our staff are fundamental to this ethos and are highly valued. We are very proud of our heritage and as we reflect on nearly 100 years of providing footwear across the generations, I think our continuing success can be best attributed to a ‘sensible’ approach to business. We continue to invest, evolve and adapt. We have great respect for Josef Seibel and the other brands we work with, who tend to be like-minded in their approach and enable us to build relationships for the long-term. We have grown our range around the customer and work closely with our key brands to deliver this and have input into their ranges.”
Iain Burnett, Sales Agent at Josef Seibel, has worked closely with the team at Clinkard's for many years. “The Charles Clinkard approach to business is very refreshing. Their family values, first-class service levels and friendly conduct has allowed Josef Seibel to respond and evolve as both companies have grown over the years. We are delighted to be a key brand for Charles Clinkard and highly value the strength of the relationship between the businesses.”
This approach has provided stability for Clinkard during the pandemic which has been an extremely challenging time for all retailers.
Tim continues, “This year has of course been very different compared to any in recent memory. Our online business, first established in 2003, has grown significantly and eased some of the pain caused by the periods of store closure. Our retail teams have also been tasked with the challenge of making the necessary safety and social-distancing changes to protect staff and customers in our stores. It has also been a year where those long-standing relationships with our suppliers have been vital and we thank them for their support. We are fortunate to be in a strong position going forward and look ahead with optimism. Jobs have been retained and we are again investing in Clinkard for 2021 and beyond!”
Clinkard's first store in Middlesbrough circa 1924
Charles Clinkard's Middlesbrough store today