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The name Elt has been a bye word for shoes in Worcestershire and a wide surrounding area for over 140 years.This shoe dynasty was founded by Albert Edward Elt (pictured left), when he took over a small shoe shop in High Street, Worcester, from one William Weobley in 1872. Worcester’s most famous son, composer Sir Edward Elgar and his wife Alice were among Elt patrons in times past , the Elgar’s music store being but a few doors away near Worcester Cathedral. His son Albert, married to Ada, expanded into a new unit in the Shambles in 1934, previously run by one of his brothers, thus starting the growth of the business. Perseverance being the hallmark of the Victorian age, Ada stayed in the business as cashier in the Worcester shop until the age of 91!! After the Second World War son Roy assumed full control of the family business – with a clear recognition from outset that the root to success in the future was the hallmark of quality products linked with timeless classic styling. He had the vision to transform a small shop in a back street filled with butchers, pubs, green grocers and fishmongers into a flagship shoe store – the rival of any in England. His vision also extended to opportunities in other towns and he started by opening Malvern in 1948, where the Church Street premises now form the head office of Robin Elt Shoes. Son Robin came into the business in 1964 and was immediately “dispatched” to a prestigious Northampton manufacturer to learn “proper shoemaking”. He returned to the Shambles two years later fully equipped to be a bespoke shoemaker. The spell in Northampton inspired him to a lifelong love and knowledge of leather. In 1969, after a period of ill health, Roy merged his shops with the retail arm of Church’s Famous English Shoes. Robin continued to run the group in the “hands on” Elt tradition and eventually became branded Buying Director for the whole group of 90 shops. Prada Italy bought out the entire Church business and in 1991 Robin took back two of the stores, in Malvern and Leominster, to resume independent retailing as Robin Elt Shoes. Robin’s love of the West Country led him to open Torquay in 1992 – whilst daughter Jenny studied biology at Exeter University. Jenny quickly cut her “shoe teeth” by working in the Devon store and even running it whilst the manageress was on holiday.An Ecco concept store was opened in Worcester in 1998, with Totnes opening in 2002 and Pershore in 2007. Following the closure of Briggs Shoes in 2008, we took on Hereford and Ludlow – with all three stores having a footwear heritage since 1902, they gave a wonderful growth opportunity for the Robin Elt Shoes group. In October 2012 we launched our website which goes from strength to strength. Today’s customers are fashion conscious but not fashion victims. They appreciate the adventures and demands of daily life and after visiting our stores can face them with the appropriate footwear for every eventuality and occasion. So why is the Robin Elt Shoes business so different? Jenny and Robin have a real passion for shoes and want their customers to share the joy of experiencing quality, comfort and timeless styling with value for money as a byword. As Great Grandfather Elt said five generations ago “Never stint on your bed or your shoes – when you’re not in one, you’re probably in the other” !
After 140 years and five generations we feel that we have more than an inkling of what our customers demand of us – quality branded footwear offering real world values, comfort in styles that fit and an offering that combines with innovation. As Coco Chanel once said “When fashion fades only style remains”. Our aim is to offer a wide range of classic footwear sourced from around the world but led by the finest English shoemakers such as Barker, Cheaney and Van-Dal. The tradition of the Elt name quite simply equates with quality, comfort and style. Robin and daughter Jenny lead an enthusiastic team of dedicated staff. Alongside a world class product range, we have branch staff dedicated to ensuring that your every visit is a truly happy, rewarding and fulfilling experience. Having worked in our branches, our online team are fully trained to offer you the very best of advice. None of us are perfect however – if we can improve our service to you please let Robin or Jenny know. It is also no coincidence that over 90% of our suppliers are still family owned businesses – be they in Spain, Germany, Denmark or England - with whom we work very closely to bring you a truly unique offering. Our company name – Uniquemix Ltd – follows that exact ethos. We are proud to be in association with Gardiner Bros Gloucester –who are shoe wholesalers and importers. Brothers Peter & Jolyon Gardiner, together with their sons James and Ben, also have a heritage of over 150 years in leather goods and footwear. As one of the UK’s largest footwear distributors Gardiners offer brands as diverse as Riva and Footsure, Skechers and Cotswold. They enable us to source specialist product from anywhere in the world. An unrivalled combination of nearly 300 years of knowing shoes – a truly Uniquemix!
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