Originally founded in the 19th century, C. & J. Clark International Ltd is a shoe manufacturer and retailer who are more frequently known as just Clarks. The company was conceived in Somerset, England and started the business in Britain before expanding globally to become the multinational corporation it is known as today.
Selling more than 50 million pairs of shoes every day, Clarks remain one of the top shoe retailers. Their particular focus is “everyday shoes”, providing comfort and an excellent fit coupled with classic styling and good looks. All of their shoes and boots are made from high-quality materials, and each comes with a label explaining what each part is made from. This immaculate attention to detail is one of the reasons why Clarks has been a firm favourite for many decades. Their range of shoes are aimed at men, women and children. They are particularly busy before the new school year starts when the kids are getting their new pairs of formal shoes ready for the year ahead.
Although Clarks started out as a solely British-based company, they’ve now expanded globally into 25 countries around the world. They still retain a strong presence in the UK market with around 600 stores in Britain. London, Glasgow and Edinburgh are the three cities with the most stores but the shoe retailer can be found in over 360 UK cities in total.
On days such as New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day and bank holidays, the Clarks opening times may alter from the norm to adhere to local regulations and to cater to increased or reduced demand. However on other day, their opening times will depend on where the store is located. As Clarks opening times can vary quite significantly, it’s a good idea to contact your local branch to check before paying a visit. However, there is a more convenient way. You can find Clarks opening times near you with minimal effort by using the branch locator tool at opening-times.co.uk. As a rough guide, most Clarks opening times run from 9am to 5.30pm from Monday to Saturday and from 11am until 4pm on Sundays.
Clarks are well-known for being one of the cornerstones of the British shoe industry, renowned for offering comfort and an excellent fit. However, there are some very good reasons why this shoe manufacturer and retailer has lasted so long and continues to enjoy outstanding success. Did you know:
Although Clarks sell a wide range of shoes for men, women and children, it’s the latter for which they are the best known. Over the years, parents looking for school shoes have turned to Clarks first and they now have a reputation for selling shoes which are hard wearing with an exemplary fit. The latter is in part due to the quality of the instore fitters, all of whom are comprehensively trained to properly check the fit of the child’s shoe.
Clarks are one of the very few shoe manufacturers left who offer half sizes. Their footwear also comes in different widths, which can be helpful for children and those with particularly narrow or wide feet. All of this helps to contribute towards Clarks’ reputation for shoes which are comfortable from the start, one of their unique selling points.
The story began in Somerset in 1825 with the Clark brothers, Cyrus and James, with the latter taken on as an apprentice. The duo made a strong start and James learnt the trade well, quickly coming up with a highly popular slipper design. By 1833 they were trading as a true partnership and things were going well. By 1863 however, the business had taken a turn for the worse and Clarks faced bankruptcy.
Luckily, the shoemaker was saved by the local Quaker community who bailed them out financially. One of the bailout conditions was that the business provided social initiatives to the local community, a pledge that they stuck to. Success returned to Clarks and by 1903 the set-up was changed to a private limited company, an arrangement which is still in place today.
Over the coming decades, Clarks was to produce a number of iconic designs and develop shoe-fitting technology which was far superior to the rest of the market. Alongside their flourishing business in the UK, they expanded worldwide and today have in excess of 1000 branded stores all over the globe, including the US.