Footwear veteran Peter Newman, founder of Kent-based chain Peter Newman Shoes, died on September 5 after a long illness. He was 74. A well-known and popular character, he spent his entire working life in the shoe trade.
Newman’s career began in Canada at Simpson Sears, a forerunner of the Sears department store group. Returning to the UK, he worked for a number of companies before becoming national sales manager for the Oliver’s Shoes chain.
In 1980 he set up his own company and opened his first shop in Margate, Kent with support from Clarks, which remained a major supplier to the business over the years. Success came quickly and the company soon expanded across the south-east of England. At its height, the chain had 21 shops.
Peter’s wife and fellow director, Pearl, died in 1992, which was a huge loss to Peter and the business. The chain ceased trading in 2010.
Following Pearl’s death, Newman devoted much of his time to charitable fundraising, creating the Pearl Newman Memorial Fund in aid of Cancer Relief. He was awarded an MBE for his charity work.
As his health declined, he retired to near Margate, close to the site of his first shop. Newman is survived by his wife Lynne, daughter Lynda and son Mark.
His funeral will take place on Friday September 19 at Margate Baptist Church.