Famous shoe firm is put up for sale

Dr Martens Wollaston, tour of factory,
Dr Martens Wollaston, tour of factory,

World-famous boot and shoe manufacturer Dr Martens is up for sale, it has been reported.

Various financial publications say the firm, which has factories in Wollaston and Irthlingborough, is on the market after a resurgence in sales in recent years.

The company is making no official comment, but the Evening Telegraph understands owners R Griggs Ltd has appointed investment bank Rothschild to test the market for buyers.

R Griggs Ltd, run by Max Griggs, has been making the shoes since 1960. The brand is famous for its popularity among punks, goths and skinheads, with bands such as The Who and The Clash among its fans.

A downturn in 2000 saw the firm move production to China and Thailand, but the original factory in Cobb’s Lane, Wollaston, reopened in 2007.

Last month the company announced the launch of an apprenticeship scheme which will give four people the chance to learn every aspect of shoemaking.

It follows an impressive year financially, as the company made a pre-tax profit of £15.3m, up from £5m the previous year.

Sales also grew to £110.2m from £82.9m as the group continued to open stores in the US, which accounts for 42 per cent of sales, and saw more profitable sales in Asia.

Max Griggs’ father, Reginald, bought the rights to Dr Martens from its German owners after the Second World War.

The boots were originally designed by Dr Klaus Maertens, who invented an air-cushioned sole using abandoned rubber from Luftwaffe airfields.