Barratts Shoes

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W Barratt & Co Ltd
Barratts Shoes, Priceless Shoes, Dolcis, Stylo Matchmakers
PredecessorW Barratt Boot and Shoe Company (1903-1964)
Stylo plc (1964-2009)
Barratts Priceless (2009-2012)
FoundedApril 1903
January 2014
United Kingdom

Barratts was a brand of high street shoe shops operating in the UK and Ireland. The Barratts shoes brand traded from 100 UK and Ireland stores.

The company was established in Northampton in 1903, and became a highly successful brand known for its lavishly produced boot catalogues during the 1920s. In 1964, it was bought by the company Stylo and, under the Barratts brand name, expanded to over 400 stores at its height, before foreign competition in the 1990s reduced its market share.

Barratts entered administration for the third time in five years on 11 November 2013.

Stylo Matchmakers

The Stylo Matchmakers boot brand was one of the biggest in the 1970s. Pele, George Best and full teams from Liverpool, Leeds United, Celtic, Sunderland, Sheffield United, Arsenal and Nottingham Forest wore the Stylo Matchmakers boots.

In May 2017 Stylo Matchmakers were rebooted by British Entrepreneur Scott Michaels. Stylo Matchmakers were launched into clubs, academies and schools exclusively. In 2018 Northern Ireland Footballer Kyle Lafferty became the Brands ambassador.


The Barratt Boot and Shoe factory in Kingsthorpe Road, Northampton. A 1911 piece of neo-baroque architecture designed by John Macvicar Anderson
Barratts shoe warehouse in Harrogate Road, Bradford
A Barratts shop on Commercial Street in Leeds

W Barratt Boot and Shoe Company was established in 1903, and soon became one of the leading shoe manufacturers in Northampton. In 1913 it moved into a neo-Baroque factory designed by John Macvicar Anderson.[1] The Barratts brand entered a new era of prosperity in the 1920s with the publication of luxurious promotional catalogues, including specially commissioned artwork and decorative pages. The 1923 catalogue featured an endorsement by the famed couturier Lady Duff Gordon, who also contributed an illustrated introduction to the women's section of this edition.[2] The firm continued to flourish into the mid-20th century under the advertising slogan "Walk the Barratt Way".

Stylo was a family run business which originated in 1935, with the consolidation of three separate companies the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange under the trade name Stylo Boot Company (Northern) Ltd. Having grown to 150 outlets, in 1964 Stylo bought W Barratt and Company, and merged the two businesses in Bradford.

Developing under the better known Barratts brand, the company developed to over 400 retail outlets. However, in the 1990s it suffered from low cost foreign competition, and subsequently issued new stock merged with rival Priceless. Based in Apperley Bridge, Bradford, West Yorkshire, the new company operated over 300 UK and Ireland concessions across the Arcadia Group, including within Dorothy Perkins, as well as supporting the Group's online activity. Barratts also had an online presence with the retailer Wallis.

On 13 February 2008, Stylo purchased 24 stores from collapsed shoe retailer Dolcis as well as the Dolcis brand name. The shops were rebranded as Barratts.[3]


Following a trading loss of £12.5 million in 2008, on 26 January 2009, Stylo's shares were suspended.[4] Barratts and PriceLess soon went into administration[5] and on 13 February 2009, Stylo itself went into administration.[6] On 19 February 2009, administrators Deloitte announced that 220 Barratt and PriceLess stores would be closing, with the loss of approximately 2,500 jobs.[7]

The remaining 160 stores and 165 concessions, plus the Barratts and Priceless brands, were sold to a management team led by Michael Ziff, under Barratts Priceless Ltd (BPL).[7] In December 2011, BPL called in administrators Deloitte, who immediately closed 100 stores and 359 concessions, resulting in 2,500 job losses.[8] In January 2012, a management team led by CEO Ziff bought 89 Barratts and Priceless stores through a new company, Barratts Trading Ltd. This sold through both its own stores and e-commerce website, plus online retailers, Debenhams and eBay.[9]

In 2013, just before administration, Barratts closed its Jersey store, which is now occupied by Paperchase.

In October 2013, it was reported that the business was suffering a cash flow crisis as it struggled to purchase new stock in the run-up to Christmas.[10] On 11 November 2013, it was confirmed the company had entered administration, with 18 immediate store closures.[11]

The retailer Pavers Shoes purchased 14 Barratts stores in December 2013.[12] In January 2014, the Barratts brand and website were purchased by the footwear entrepreneur Harvey Jacobsen and the former buying and merchandising director of Barratts, Simon Robson.[13]


  1. ^ "Barratt Shoe Factory, Northampton, Northamptonshire". Heritage Explorer. English Heritage. June 2000. Ref. BB001829. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  2. ^ Lady Duff Gordon, "The Art of Dressing Well," Barratts Boots by Post, pp. 75-77 (Northampton: Footshape Works, 1923)
  3. ^ Dolcis Sale to Stylo Barratt Archived 7 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Shoe retailer Stylo's shares suspended - Telegraph
  5. ^ Footwear chains in administration - BBC
  6. ^ Barratts Shoes collapse puts 5,450 jobs at risk - Times
  7. ^ a b Shoe shop chain cuts 2,500 jobs - BBC
  8. ^ Zoe Wood (30 December 2011). "Shoe shop chain Barratts Priceless makes 1,600 staff redundant". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  9. ^ "Barratts deal to save 1,100 jobs". BBC News. 15 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  10. ^ "High Street shoe chain Barratts struggling for survival". Business Sale Report. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Barratts goes into administration". BBC News. 11 November 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Pavels deal saves 150 jobs". Insider News Yorkshire. 23 December 2013. Archived from the original on 5 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  13. ^ Casey, David (6 January 2014). "Barratts brand sold but creditors braced for £14m hit". Insider News Yorkshire. Retrieved 5 February 2014.

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