Cox’s Leather Shop in York's Shambles to close

Matthew Johnson, left, and Philip Johnson, who  who are selling their family business Cox’s Leather Shop in Shambles

Matthew Johnson, left, and Philip Johnson, who who are selling their family business Cox’s Leather Shop in Shambles

Updated in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Business editor

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.”

Comments (22)

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10:02am Wed 4 Jun 14

Older Sometimes Wiser says...

This is one of the ,relatively few ,small quality family businesses in the center of York where one can guarantee that what you purchase is the best available for the price.
I hope that the business in bought by someone with the same principles.
This is one of the ,relatively few ,small quality family businesses in the center of York where one can guarantee that what you purchase is the best available for the price. I hope that the business in bought by someone with the same principles. Older Sometimes Wiser
  • Score: 53

10:03am Wed 4 Jun 14

andy fowler says...

"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 City of York Council is what he really means.
"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 City of York Council is what he really means. andy fowler
  • Score: -63

10:07am Wed 4 Jun 14

oi oi savaloy says...

look forward to a chain restaurant/bar opening soon....
look forward to a chain restaurant/bar opening soon.... oi oi savaloy
  • Score: -34

10:11am Wed 4 Jun 14

courier46 says...

York city council and doing a great job are two lines that do NOT go together!
York city council and doing a great job are two lines that do NOT go together! courier46
  • Score: -50

11:01am Wed 4 Jun 14

Dodgy_Dave says...

REALIZE? REALIZE!!!!!!

It's REALISE! With an 'S' not a 'Zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
e!'
Laura KNOWZHOWTOUSESPELLCH
ECK!

Christ, are we scraping the bottom of the barrel for Journalists now YP?

It used to be a profession, now it's for anyone who can use spell check **The american version obviously**
Learn English!
FFZ!
REALIZE? REALIZE!!!!!! It's REALISE! With an 'S' not a 'Zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee e!' Laura KNOWZHOWTOUSESPELLCH ECK! Christ, are we scraping the bottom of the barrel for Journalists now YP? It used to be a profession, now it's for anyone who can use spell check **The american version obviously** Learn English! FFZ! Dodgy_Dave
  • Score: 25

11:27am Wed 4 Jun 14

YorkPatrol says...

With a £33,750.00 per annum rent, I am surprised the shop has been trading as long as it has…

No wonder there are so many empty shops with only the large chains flourishing
With a £33,750.00 per annum rent, I am surprised the shop has been trading as long as it has… No wonder there are so many empty shops with only the large chains flourishing YorkPatrol
  • Score: -6

11:54am Wed 4 Jun 14

Kiwi2 says...

I agree with Older Sometimes Wiser: this show is fantastic and I am sorry to see them go. They've repaired many of my favourite pairs of shoes - extending their life many times over and meaning I don't have to buy new ones - and given me lots of useful, friendly advice over the years. I wish them the very best for their retirement.
I agree with Older Sometimes Wiser: this show is fantastic and I am sorry to see them go. They've repaired many of my favourite pairs of shoes - extending their life many times over and meaning I don't have to buy new ones - and given me lots of useful, friendly advice over the years. I wish them the very best for their retirement. Kiwi2
  • Score: 43

12:14pm Wed 4 Jun 14

ChilliPepper87 says...

Older Sometimes Wiser wrote:
This is one of the ,relatively few ,small quality family businesses in the center of York where one can guarantee that what you purchase is the best available for the price.
I hope that the business in bought by someone with the same principles.
it wont be bought!
anyone who is clever/lucky enough is vacating york city centre. its become absolute pants in terms of shopping and eating quality food.
[quote][p][bold]Older Sometimes Wiser[/bold] wrote: This is one of the ,relatively few ,small quality family businesses in the center of York where one can guarantee that what you purchase is the best available for the price. I hope that the business in bought by someone with the same principles.[/p][/quote]it wont be bought! anyone who is clever/lucky enough is vacating york city centre. its become absolute pants in terms of shopping and eating quality food. ChilliPepper87
  • Score: -17

1:13pm Wed 4 Jun 14

eeoodares says...

ChilliPepper87 wrote:
Older Sometimes Wiser wrote:
This is one of the ,relatively few ,small quality family businesses in the center of York where one can guarantee that what you purchase is the best available for the price.
I hope that the business in bought by someone with the same principles.
it wont be bought!
anyone who is clever/lucky enough is vacating york city centre. its become absolute pants in terms of shopping and eating quality food.
You can not find a quality restaurant or independent retailer in York City Centre?
Where do you go, Harvester and Pets at Home?
[quote][p][bold]ChilliPepper87[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Older Sometimes Wiser[/bold] wrote: This is one of the ,relatively few ,small quality family businesses in the center of York where one can guarantee that what you purchase is the best available for the price. I hope that the business in bought by someone with the same principles.[/p][/quote]it wont be bought! anyone who is clever/lucky enough is vacating york city centre. its become absolute pants in terms of shopping and eating quality food.[/p][/quote]You can not find a quality restaurant or independent retailer in York City Centre? Where do you go, Harvester and Pets at Home? eeoodares
  • Score: 25

1:20pm Wed 4 Jun 14

YorkPatrol says...

ChilliPepper87 wrote:
Older Sometimes Wiser wrote: This is one of the ,relatively few ,small quality family businesses in the center of York where one can guarantee that what you purchase is the best available for the price. I hope that the business in bought by someone with the same principles.
it wont be bought! anyone who is clever/lucky enough is vacating york city centre. its become absolute pants in terms of shopping and eating quality food.
I hope your house is on the market or you don't currently live in York given how disgruntled you are with thr suituation
[quote][p][bold]ChilliPepper87[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Older Sometimes Wiser[/bold] wrote: This is one of the ,relatively few ,small quality family businesses in the center of York where one can guarantee that what you purchase is the best available for the price. I hope that the business in bought by someone with the same principles.[/p][/quote]it wont be bought! anyone who is clever/lucky enough is vacating york city centre. its become absolute pants in terms of shopping and eating quality food.[/p][/quote]I hope your house is on the market or you don't currently live in York given how disgruntled you are with thr suituation YorkPatrol
  • Score: 10

1:30pm Wed 4 Jun 14

ShunGokuSatsu says...

Dodgy_Dave wrote:
REALIZE? REALIZE!!!!!! It's REALISE! With an 'S' not a 'Zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee e!' Laura KNOWZHOWTOUSESPELLCH ECK! Christ, are we scraping the bottom of the barrel for Journalists now YP? It used to be a profession, now it's for anyone who can use spell check **The american version obviously** Learn English! FFZ!
*journalists *American

And the rule of thumb for exclamation points is "one or none."

Not that I'd want to clog the comments section with unnecessary pedantry or owt.
[quote][p][bold]Dodgy_Dave[/bold] wrote: REALIZE? REALIZE!!!!!! It's REALISE! With an 'S' not a 'Zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee e!' Laura KNOWZHOWTOUSESPELLCH ECK! Christ, are we scraping the bottom of the barrel for Journalists now YP? It used to be a profession, now it's for anyone who can use spell check **The american version obviously** Learn English! FFZ![/p][/quote]*journalists *American And the rule of thumb for exclamation points is "one or none." Not that I'd want to clog the comments section with unnecessary pedantry or owt. ShunGokuSatsu
  • Score: 21

1:34pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Pinza-C55 says...

ShunGokuSatsu wrote:
Dodgy_Dave wrote:
REALIZE? REALIZE!!!!!! It's REALISE! With an 'S' not a 'Zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee e!' Laura KNOWZHOWTOUSESPELLCH ECK! Christ, are we scraping the bottom of the barrel for Journalists now YP? It used to be a profession, now it's for anyone who can use spell check **The american version obviously** Learn English! FFZ!
*journalists *American

And the rule of thumb for exclamation points is "one or none."

Not that I'd want to clog the comments section with unnecessary pedantry or owt.
Innit.
[quote][p][bold]ShunGokuSatsu[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dodgy_Dave[/bold] wrote: REALIZE? REALIZE!!!!!! It's REALISE! With an 'S' not a 'Zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee e!' Laura KNOWZHOWTOUSESPELLCH ECK! Christ, are we scraping the bottom of the barrel for Journalists now YP? It used to be a profession, now it's for anyone who can use spell check **The american version obviously** Learn English! FFZ![/p][/quote]*journalists *American And the rule of thumb for exclamation points is "one or none." Not that I'd want to clog the comments section with unnecessary pedantry or owt.[/p][/quote]Innit. Pinza-C55
  • Score: 13

4:34pm Wed 4 Jun 14

andy fowler says...

Offer in to the council for a cycle shop on the Cox site. God deliver us from Alexander and his gestapo
Offer in to the council for a cycle shop on the Cox site. God deliver us from Alexander and his gestapo andy fowler
  • Score: -65

4:41pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Dave Taylor says...

The City of York Council has crippled city centre retail by promoting out-of-town retail against national, regional, and local planning policy. It's own retail consultants said that Monk's Cross II would suck £50,000,000 of retail spend per year from York city centre. Other retail consultants put the figure higher, at £80-90 million per year.
The City of York Council has crippled city centre retail by promoting out-of-town retail against national, regional, and local planning policy. It's own retail consultants said that Monk's Cross II would suck £50,000,000 of retail spend per year from York city centre. Other retail consultants put the figure higher, at £80-90 million per year. Dave Taylor
  • Score: -22

4:55pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Meirion M says...

courier46 wrote:
York city council and doing a great job are two lines that do NOT go together!
It is an example of a oxymoron.
[quote][p][bold]courier46[/bold] wrote: York city council and doing a great job are two lines that do NOT go together![/p][/quote]It is an example of a oxymoron. Meirion M
  • Score: -57

5:11pm Wed 4 Jun 14

linton_for_life says...

Is it closing or is it being sold? It could be bought as a going concern and run as is? But the word Closing in the title rules out that avenue.
Is it closing or is it being sold? It could be bought as a going concern and run as is? But the word Closing in the title rules out that avenue. linton_for_life
  • Score: 12

5:16pm Wed 4 Jun 14

nottoooldtocare says...

Dave Taylor wrote:
The City of York Council has crippled city centre retail by promoting out-of-town retail against national, regional, and local planning policy. It's own retail consultants said that Monk's Cross II would suck £50,000,000 of retail spend per year from York city centre. Other retail consultants put the figure higher, at £80-90 million per year.
I have to be honest there isn't a great deal that would attract me to go into York shopping. Most of what I want would be purchased from the out of town units (and early due to the traffic), or sad to say I would rather get the train to Harrogate, and yes I do live in the York area and we do venture into town for a drink and meal every now and then. £20m plus has recently been invested in the two new P&R parks, who are these for? are they cheap and cheerful or more expensive that a bus or taxi? Haven't seen any indication as to how much it will cost to travel from these to the centre, so potentially white elephants.
York needs to decide what it wants to be. Family friendly with a range of attractions to suite all ages, or settle for how it appears to me now; a dodgy dive full of fast food shops, trashy gifts and retail clothing outlets selling virtually the same over priced crud. This coupled with dire music assaulting your eardrums as you pass by the doorways.
York is steeped in history, do neon lights and disco beats really fit in with this? Shouldn't we be looking to restore shop frontages to their past and "retailers" look to rely on good service and quality good to attract customers in and back rather than tacky gimmicks? I know what I would like, but maybe I am a bit of a dinosaur.
[quote][p][bold]Dave Taylor[/bold] wrote: The City of York Council has crippled city centre retail by promoting out-of-town retail against national, regional, and local planning policy. It's own retail consultants said that Monk's Cross II would suck £50,000,000 of retail spend per year from York city centre. Other retail consultants put the figure higher, at £80-90 million per year.[/p][/quote]I have to be honest there isn't a great deal that would attract me to go into York shopping. Most of what I want would be purchased from the out of town units (and early due to the traffic), or sad to say I would rather get the train to Harrogate, and yes I do live in the York area and we do venture into town for a drink and meal every now and then. £20m plus has recently been invested in the two new P&R parks, who are these for? are they cheap and cheerful or more expensive that a bus or taxi? Haven't seen any indication as to how much it will cost to travel from these to the centre, so potentially white elephants. York needs to decide what it wants to be. Family friendly with a range of attractions to suite all ages, or settle for how it appears to me now; a dodgy dive full of fast food shops, trashy gifts and retail clothing outlets selling virtually the same over priced crud. This coupled with dire music assaulting your eardrums as you pass by the doorways. York is steeped in history, do neon lights and disco beats really fit in with this? Shouldn't we be looking to restore shop frontages to their past and "retailers" look to rely on good service and quality good to attract customers in and back rather than tacky gimmicks? I know what I would like, but maybe I am a bit of a dinosaur. nottoooldtocare
  • Score: -16

6:51pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Jack Ham says...

City of York Council have no interest in supporting local businesses.

Rather than help them they are currently negotiating with the LEP and Leeds City Region to pay into the merry band of Labour Local Authorities with nothing, absolutely nothing guaranteed in return.
City of York Council have no interest in supporting local businesses. Rather than help them they are currently negotiating with the LEP and Leeds City Region to pay into the merry band of Labour Local Authorities with nothing, absolutely nothing guaranteed in return. Jack Ham
  • Score: -30

10:05pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Spider1 says...

I love this shop! Great quality shoe repairs that last :(
I love this shop! Great quality shoe repairs that last :( Spider1
  • Score: 17

10:30pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Garrowby Turnoff says...

Aww! Sad...
Aww! Sad... Garrowby Turnoff
  • Score: 9

8:11am Thu 5 Jun 14

holden79 says...

Dodgy_Dave wrote:
REALIZE? REALIZE!!!!!!

It's REALISE! With an 'S' not a 'Zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

e!'
Laura KNOWZHOWTOUSESPELLCH

ECK!

Christ, are we scraping the bottom of the barrel for Journalists now YP?

It used to be a profession, now it's for anyone who can use spell check **The american version obviously**
Learn English!
FFZ!
The Oxford English Dictionary spells realize/realise both ways. The myth that only Americans use 'ize' is well, a myth. There is NOTHING wrong with using realize, organize etc......

It seems like YOU are too reliant on your spell checker to realize this?
[quote][p][bold]Dodgy_Dave[/bold] wrote: REALIZE? REALIZE!!!!!! It's REALISE! With an 'S' not a 'Zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee e!' Laura KNOWZHOWTOUSESPELLCH ECK! Christ, are we scraping the bottom of the barrel for Journalists now YP? It used to be a profession, now it's for anyone who can use spell check **The american version obviously** Learn English! FFZ![/p][/quote]The Oxford English Dictionary spells realize/realise both ways. The myth that only Americans use 'ize' is well, a myth. There is NOTHING wrong with using realize, organize etc...... It seems like YOU are too reliant on your spell checker to realize this? holden79
  • Score: 7

10:13am Thu 5 Jun 14

haxbypete says...

YorkPatrol wrote:
With a £33,750.00 per annum rent, I am surprised the shop has been trading as long as it has…

No wonder there are so many empty shops with only the large chains flourishing
What do you mean ? Cox's don't pay any rent - they own their own freeholds (as stated in the piece). So where did you get that rents from ?

The Johnson family own their own freehold - one of the very few privately owned properties in the Shambles. The City Council brought compulsory purchase orders against most of the properties way back in the 1950's. At that time, when they demolished Little Shambles, they planned to do the same to Great Shambles. Thankfully, common sense prevailed and the iconic Shambles was saved for the City and our tourism industry !
[quote][p][bold]YorkPatrol[/bold] wrote: With a £33,750.00 per annum rent, I am surprised the shop has been trading as long as it has… No wonder there are so many empty shops with only the large chains flourishing[/p][/quote]What do you mean ? Cox's don't pay any rent - they own their own freeholds (as stated in the piece). So where did you get that rents from ? The Johnson family own their own freehold - one of the very few privately owned properties in the Shambles. The City Council brought compulsory purchase orders against most of the properties way back in the 1950's. At that time, when they demolished Little Shambles, they planned to do the same to Great Shambles. Thankfully, common sense prevailed and the iconic Shambles was saved for the City and our tourism industry ! haxbypete
  • Score: 8

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