John Collier (clothing retailer)

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John Collier store in the background; Watford, 1963

John Collier was a British chain of shops selling men's clothes.

Founded in Leeds in 1907 by Henry Price, the chain expanded to over 399 stores across the country, most of which traded under the Fifty Shilling Tailors brand.

In 1958, the company was sold to UDS, which renamed it John Collier.[1] It continued to trade within the UDS empire until 1983 when UDS was sold to Hanson plc. In order to recoup the cost of the purchase Hanson sold on a number of UDS assets, including John Collier to a management buy-out team. In 1985 the company was sold on to the Burton Group, but the brand was discontinued and no longer exists today.[2]

On 17 December 1975, the Prince of Wales visited to officially open the head office extension. The huge complex in Kirkstall Road, Leeds, had two factories, No. 1 factory and No. 2 factory, in Evanston Avenue. This is now occupied by the Cardigan Fields Leisure and Entertainment complex. Other factories existed in Westland Road in Leeds, Powlett Road in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, South Shields and Peterlee. One by one they closed, leaving only Hartlepool and Middlesbrough by the late 1970s. The last factory to remain open was Hartlepool, after the closure of the Middlesbrough factory.[citation needed]

The advertising tagline used in a number of variations over the years was John Collier - The Window to Watch.


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-03-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Retail Week's Top 500: 2004