Meeks: The story behind the family business providing Mancs with footwear for 120 years

Meeks Shoes

Meeks Shoes is one of the best-loved, longest-running businesses in Manchester – having been a staple of our high streets since 1901.

Established by Edward Meeks more than a hundred years ago, the eponymous shoe brand has established five stores across the county – including Ashton-Under-Lyne, Sale, Oldham, Alderley Edge and Stockport.

Still family-run to this day, Meeks is one of Greater Manchester’s most trusted stockists of classy footwear – with the likes of Kickers, Sketchers and Clarks adorning the shelves.

Shortly after opening at the dawn of the 20th century, Meeks promised to provide Mancunians with a variety of comfortable and high-quality shoes for women, men and children.

And owners have continued to do so ever since.

Meeks Shoes

In 1901, Edward Meeks, the great-grandfather of the stores’ current owner, ran away from home at age 16.

With just a shilling to his name, he travelled to Ashton-Under-Lyne and managed to get a job as a sales assistant in a shoe shop.

After saving enough money, he decided to start his own store: Meeks Shoes.

Fast-forward to 2020 and the business is run by the fourth generation of the Meeks family.

Meeks Shoes

In more recent years, the trusted local business has faced some difficulties with maintaining their high street stores and competing with more popular, national brands.

“Even before the pandemic the retail industry had been grappling with rising rents and increased online competition,” say owners.

The company was granted a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan to walk the bumpy road ahead – a sum of money which was primarily used to update the company’s website in response to the surge of online sales during the first lockdown.

“We’ve used the lockdown period as an opportunity to update our website and our online takings have trebled during this time, which has helped while our physical stores have been closed,” owners explained.

Meeks Shoes

The loan was also used to pay staff salaries, rent and suppliers – with the aim to revive their bricks-and-mortar stores once shops are allowed to reopen.

Boasting a rich history, amazing legacy, and optimistic future, there’s so much that sets Meeks apart – and we’re lucky to have them here in Manchester.

Owners add: “We’re constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to expand our already considerable range and improve the quality of our service.

“You’re sure to enjoy a warm welcome and a great shoe shopping experience, every time.”

Meeks Shoes’ collection of footwear can be purchased from their website.

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