Burton (retailer)

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Arcadia Group Brands Ltd
Limited company
Founded 1903
Headquarters Colegrave House, 70 Berners Street, London, UK
Parent Arcadia Group
Website www.burton.co.uk

Burton is a large United Kingdom high street clothing retailer. The company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index, but is now a trading name of Arcadia Group Brands Ltd, part of the Arcadia Group.[1] There are over 400 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland. It has also expanded to out of town sites since the 1980s, a notable example being at the Merry Hill Shopping Centre in the West Midlands, where it has had a store since November 1989.


The Burtons factory in Burmantofts, Leeds is now used only as a warehouse

The company was founded by Montague Burton in Chesterfield in 1903 under the name of The Cross-Tailoring Company.[2] It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1929 by which time it had 400 stores, factories and mills.[2] In 1934, Burton's large factory in Leeds was visited by the Princess Royal.[2]

After World War II Montague Burton was one of the suppliers of demob suits to the British government for demobilising servicemen, comprising jacket, trousers, waistcoat, shirt and underwear.[2] It has been speculated that this is the origin of the phrase "the full monty". In 1946 the Company acquired the Peter Robinson women's fashion chain.[3] By 1952, the year of Montague Burton's death, the company was the largest multiple tailor in the world.[2]

Burton was the official clothing supplier to the England national football team for the 1966 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 1996 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup championships.[2] In 1998 the company changed its name to Arcadia Group.[4]

The Burton company archives are held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service in Leeds.[5]


A branch of Burton combined with Dorothy Perkins and Evans

Burton combines a long heritage of tailoring with a modern take on casual wear. Burton regularly include celebrities in their advertising, featuring various 'Burton Boys' over periods of the retailing calendar, targeting their market audience of 18-30 year old males. Music personalities such as Lemar and Trevor Nelson, and television presenter Steve Jones have all appeared in such campaigns. Notable sporting figures such as Amir Khan have also appeared in advertising.

A Burton store's team typically consists of a range of sales advisors, from the ages of 16 to 50+, who offer a variety of selling and service techniques. Younger sales advisors provide an important connection to the modern fashion market, and support their more experienced colleagues, who are able to offer knowledgeable advice on traditional tailoring.


Burton worked closely with the Bobby Moore Fund, an arm of Cancer Research UK funding research into bowel cancer, in the lead up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. England's World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore died of bowel cancer in 1993.[6]

In November 2009, Burton sought to bring back "The Burton" through their support of the Movember campaign in order to raise money for The Prostate Cancer Charity. 'The Burton' moustache style was created by Montague Burton, and was styled upon two influential moustache types; the English and the Handlebar. It is full bodied and curves down across the mouth. The tips should be slightly waxed and it should never be oversized or exaggerated.

To support men taking part in the Movember challenge, Burton also developed a Facebook page to use to gain support amongst a network of friends and raise awareness of the charity.


  1. ^ "Help & Contact". Burton.co.uk. 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "History and Heritage". Burton.co.uk. 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Arcadia History
  4. ^ "Arcadia's clearance sale". BBC News. 4 April 2001. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  5. ^ West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds
  6. ^ Charity begins on the High Street

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