doc marten 1460 Buyers lining up for Stead Simpson bid

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Buyers lining up for Stead Simpson bidSTEAD Simpson, one of the country’s oldest shoe shops is weighing up interest from a string of potential buyers after deciding against a stock market flotation.07:02, 25 AUG 2005Updated04:14, 18 JAN 2013Get business updates directly to your inbox+ SubscribeThank you for subscribing!

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STEAD Simpson, one of the country’s oldest shoe shops is weighing up interest from a string of potential buyers after deciding against a stock market flotation.

The company, which was founded in 1834 and has more than 400 outlets in the UK, said competition among private equity firms to buy the business had been strong after it reported “above average” sales growth.

The Leicester based firm had considered a market listing when it began a strategic review in March, but decided a sale was the best option.

As well as trading under the Stead Simpson brand, the company also includes budget shoe retailer Shoe Express, Peter Briggs and Lilley Skinner.

Its stores stock their own label footwear, along with brands such as Hush Puppies, Dr Martens, Clarks, Ecco and Wrangler footwear. Stead Simpson said today that same store sales were one per cent higher in the first six months of the year which it believed was “significantly” above the market average.

Like for like sales rose by seven per cent during June and six per cent in July.

It said the increase followed its decision not to discount prices as early in the summer as some of its rivals.

The firm said today: “Against a background of such positive performance in a difficult retail environment, competition to buy the business has remained strong and management have selected a number of bidders to go through to the next stage.”
doc marten 1460 Buyers lining up for Stead Simpson bid