Coles Shoes to close after more than 50 years in Weston-super-Mare
PUBLISHED: 12:32 06 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:34 06 October 2017
Platform trainers, patent Dr Martens boots, sensible school shoes and practical work wear have been Dennis Coles' business for more than 50 years, but his retirement means Coles Shoes in Weston will close its doors for the final time tomorrow (Saturday).
Coles Shoes opened in Orchard Place in 1965 and has been run by Mr Coles and his family ever since.
Since they announced its closure, Mr Coles said there has been an outpouring of love for the store which has kept Weston walking for decades.
Children’s first pairs of school shoes, cosy slippers to keep grandma happy at Christmas, and smart shoes to be work with wedding suits have all been bought from Coles by hundreds of Westonians throughout the years.
Mr Coles puts the shop’s success down to staying ‘in Vogue’ and he told the Mercury: “We have just tried to keep up.
“Dr Martens have always been a big seller for us, as have Kickers, and Buffalo’s boots.”
German brand Buffalo’s boots, may not be as popular now but the platform trainers were a huge hit in the 1990s, and Mr Coles said they were not easily found.
He added: “I first spotted them in this shoe store in Covent Garden. I went in and spoke with them, it was a German man who run it, and he also had the last name Coles.
“From that point on I was always able to order as many Buffalo’s boots as I needed.”
Coles has become synonymous with quality during its half-century of trading, something Mr Coles says has earned him much praise.
He said: “Since we’ve announced we are going we have had an outpouring of thanks from customers.
“We have had people who have been very generous with their purchases, and we have had bottles of wine brought in to us.”
Mr Coles may be retiring from work, but he looks set to be busier than ever as he continues teaching music and conducting Weston Youth Orchestra, a role he took up in 1966.
He is also president of Worle Football Club and his various roles within the community earned him an MBE in 2009.
He said: “Going to Buckingham Palace and meeting Princess Anne has to be my proudest moment – you just can’t beat that.”
The 77-year-old also has three children and six grandchildren who he will be spending time with.