Prudence and hard work paying off at Pavers

THE founder of shoe retailer Pavers paid tribute to her employees after the York business delivered a polished performance in a tough economy.

The family-owned company – whose motto is ‘We make Happy feet’ – reported turnover of £65.6m last year, up 3 per cent on the previous year.

Gross profits rose 8 per cent to £16.3m, according to annual accounts for the 53 weeks ending February 2.

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Septuagenarian Cathie Paver, the company secretary, said: “The economic climate both in the UK and abroad continues to affect trade and presents us with uncertainties, however despite this we have maintained profits at an acceptable level.

“This has been achieved as a result of prudence and hard work by all our employees.” The company is not just reliant on its 100 or so retail stores, it launched a new website in June and has been broadcasting its own shopping channel on Sky TV for the last two years.

Mrs Paver said: “The synergies achieved have strengthened the Pavers brand across the retail, wholesale and internet. The company is therefore well placed for future growth, both through improved performance of existing units, new openings and development of new market areas.”

Pavers is expanding internationally and made history when it became the first foreign retailer to be allowed to open stores in India.

The company, led by Mrs Paver’s son Stuart, aims to become one of the top three footwear brands in the massive Indian market.

Mr Paver has said that the company is still growing in the UK, “but India is the only place where we have the chance of becoming a billion-pound business”.

He was shortlisted in the retail category of the Ernst & Young UK Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

Mrs Paver founded the business in York in 1971 after she struggled to find stylish shoes that fit her properly.

The company specialises in comfort footwear.