|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2011)|
|Headquarters||Altrincham, Greater Manchester|
|Key people||Fran Cotton
Steve Smith, founders
|Products||Rugby shirts, Leisurewear, Footwear|
Cotton Traders is a British clothing company, specialising in rugby apparel and leisurewear, based in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, England. It was founded in 1987 by former England national rugby union team captains Fran Cotton and Steve Smith.
Cotton Traders was founded by former England rugby players Fran Cotton and Steve Smith in 1987. The company is one of the UK's most successful multi-channel retailers, employing over a 1000 staff with an annual gross turnover of more than £91million.
The company started out in a small room next to Altrincham railway station, supplying rugby shirts via mail order using advertisements in the Sunday newspapers. After two years the business had an annual turnover of £2million. New ranges covering leisurewear and casual clothes for men and women, footwear and accessories were added.
Cotton Traders operates 125 retail stores nationwide in high street, retail outlets, garden centres, airports and motorway services locations. They also offer an overseas delivery service, having proved popular amongst the British expat community. A Cotton Traders customer community can also be found via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The company operates from four main buildings in Altrincham and a distribution centre in Pontefract. Cotton Traders House is responsible for the management of the company. The nearby operations site deals with customer service matters and the placing of customer orders through the telephone. In 2006 a vacant office building opposite Cotton Traders house was purchased and in 2012 due to continued company growth a fourth building was needed. Head office departments are now split between Cotton Traders House, Cotton Mill (formerly Neptune House) and the Cotton Hub.
Cotton Traders sponsors the following clubs: