Russell & Bromley

Russell & Bromley is a British footwear and handbag retailer founded in 1873, that operates 43 stores and 2 concessions in the UK. The company is still run and owned by the Bromley family.[1]


Russell & Bromley was started in 1873, when George Bromley, a shoemaker married his employer Albion Russell's daughter Elizabeth in Lewes, England. Elizabeth's grandfather, John Clifford Russell had established a shoe making business back in 1820.[2] The family store in Eastbourne became the first to carry the Russell and Bromley name above the door in 1880.[3][4]

In 1898, Frederick, George and Elizabeth's son, joined the business and he opened a store in Tonbridge. He then founded a further store in Sevenoaks, which started an expansion programme with further stores being opened and smaller independent retailers being purchased. In 1905 Frederick moved its operations from Eastbourne to Bromley in Kent.[5] In 1936, Frederick retired and handed the business to his sons Frederick Keith (usually known as 'Toby') and Michael, and by the start of World War II had 20 branches.[6][7][8]

In 1947 the brothers opened their first store in London's Bond Street, which saw the change of business focus to high end retailer. In 1968 this was completed by the closure of a quarter of the branches to concentrate on the higher end of the market.[8] The company has since progressed from selling just footwear and has now moved into ladies handbags and men's belts as part of their range.


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