I opened my store, Christopher Scotney, on November 14, 1972, so we are celebrating our 40th anniversary this season.
I’m reliving four decades of memories as I look back over 80 seasons, 480 months, 2,080 weeks and at least 12,480 days (if still working on a six-day week – those were the days).
Oddly, our best trading period of the past 40 years was during the three-day weeks of 1974-75, when we lit the shop with generators because there was no power. People came shopping with us to cheer themselves up. A real highlight was winning the Drapers Record Menswear Retailer of the Year Award in 1994 – it’s good to be recognised by the trade.
I started out in the era of bellbottoms and platform shoes, but our most valuable brand throughout has undoubtedly been Hugo Boss, which we still sell.
For the fellowship of other retailers, I’ve been really glad to be part of a trade association for 25 years, whether it’s been called MAB, BSSA or FAB. Over the years, I’ve employed between 18 and 26 people, so it’s been a team effort.
And my favourite character from the past 40 years? A showman agent called Peter Memphis Smith. How many readers remember him?
- Chris Scotney, Owner of menswear store Christopher Scotney, Leicester. Committee member of the Fashion Association of Britain