A FAMILY-RUN leather business which has been trading in York for 93 years is to close as its owners look to retire.

Cox's Leather Shop opened in Shambles in 1921, and for the last 30 years has been run by brothers Matthew and Philip Johnson.

However the shop is now being put up for sale as the pair look to retire, with no family members wishing to continue the business.

Matthew said: "The York economy is on an upward trend, and City of York Council and Visit York are doing a great job of promoting the city centre.

"Despite the out-of-town competition, York’s unique shopping mix continues to allow the city to flourish.

"Despite this we have taken the decision to go out on a high, and after 30 years involvement in the company we both feel that this is the perfect time for us to bow out, and to spend more time with our families."

Cox's, which offers leather retail on the ground floor as well as a leather repairs workshop on the first floor, will continue to to trade until a buyer is found for the business's three freehold properties, which are being marketed by Alan Blacks of Fulford.

Cox’s was founded by William Cox, a shoe repairer from Northampton, and until the 1980s was known as Cox of Northampton.

Mr Cox was joined in the business by his nephew Percy Nutt (Matthew & Philip’s grandfather) and his wife Annie.

Having no family of his own, Mr. Cox sold the business to Percy in the 1950s, and it continued as a shoe-repairers until the 1970s when, after expanding into a second adjacent Shambles property, their daughter Marjorie and son-in-law Alan Johnson became part of the business.

Together they increased the range of products by selling sheepskin and leather goods and expanded the premises further by acquiring a third adjacent property.

When Alan and Marjorie retired from the business, their sons Matthew and Philip continued its development, launching the company’s website in 1999.

Matthew said “Our web site enables us to trade with a global shop front and we are talking to various parties about continuing an online presence as we have a very strong brand in Cox’s Leather Shop.

"We realise that the service and quality that we have offered for so many years will be greatly missed by many people, but would like to say a big thank you to all the customers who have supported us, and of course to all our loyal staff who have worked with us throughout the years who we hope have felt like part of the family.”