After the sale of Suters, what happened to various family members involved with the company ?.......
Clarence Suter retired and moved to Meadle near Princes Risborough, Bucks living at his elder son Tom and his wife Doreen's farm until his death at Stoke Mandeville on the 2nd September 1979. More information about Clarence Suter Here
Frank Suter retired and continued to live in Stoke Poges till his death on the 22nd October 1990. More information about Frank Suter Here
John Suter retired and lived in Gerrards Cross with his wife Bobbie (who passed away on the 26th January 1990 at Great Missenden) until his death on September 11th 1998 a month before his 91st birthday More information about John Suter and the Uxbridge Rotary Club Here He became a director of Philip and Gráinne Suter's company Jeffrey Milner Ltd and assisted with the bookeeping.
Tony Suter worked for SSVC for a number of years before retiring. He continued to live in South Buckinghamshire with his wife Anne until he passed away on the 21st January 2021 at Wexham Park Hospital.
Ian Suter who had left the family business in 1969 and had set up Ian Suter Fashions (later rebranded as Suters) with his wife Christine (who passed away on 7th October 2005) who had been a fashion buyer at Suters. They were based in Marlow and Wallingford and eventually retired to Spain. See Suters House Journal Spotlight June 1969 here and Suters Marlow and Wallingford
Dick (Richard) Suter moved to Belgium and worked for Champion Spark Plug in Belgium, as Public Relations Manager for Europe, Africa and Middle East. He and his wife Ginny retired to the south of France and both died of cancer within six weeks of each other on the 21st March and 9th May 2013.
Robert Suter continued in the retail business working for the John Lewis Partnership at Brent Cross, West London and High Wycombe until finally retiring in 2013. See also Anita Suter and Robert Suter's Memories of working at Suters Ltd
Philip Suter became involved with the property business setting up Frank Farr & Sons residential lettings in 1984 and JNP's Lettings in 2001. With his wife Gráinne, they established jml Training Consultancy under the Jeffey Milner Ltd company and also became involved with online marketing for insurance products.
Other Members of the Suter family who had worked for Suters Ltd
When Arthur Suter (father of Elizabeth "Su", Ruth and George) passed away on the 14th March 1972 his wife Dorothy became a non executive director. This was an arrangement made by the four brothers, Arthur, Clarence, Frank and John that their wife would become a non excecutive director in the event of their death. Dorothy remained a director till she passed away on the 17th June 1975. See also Arthur Suter page
Anita Suter (passed away on the 4th November 2014 More Here) who was married to Robert Suter was a fashion buyer for both stores. See also: Robert Suter's Memories of working at Suters Ltd and Remembering Anita Suter
In November 1978 it was re-branded as Owen Owen. It was later sold to Alders in 1996 and according to Wikipedia "In September 1996 Allders purchased a number of department stores from the Owen Owen group that traded under the Lewis's and Owen Owen names. This included branches in Basingstoke, Coventry, Ilford, Leeds, Oxford, Redditch and Slough."In 2005 it was sold to Debenhams
According to "The Retail Bulletin" 22 March 2005 Debenhams said the stores it has acquired at Basildon, Ilford, Portsmouth, Slough, Sutton, Woking, Chatham and Clapham will be open for business under the new management by April 1, and will be revamped by the end of July.
In the book "High Street Heroes - The story of British Retail in 50 People" by John Timpson the Chairman of the Timpson Group published in 2015. Under "Philip Green" he writes "The leverage deals got progressively bigger and more ambitious. The purchase the following year (1994) year of Owen Owen, the department store chain that also owned Lewis's Department Stores (not to be confused with John Lewis) was more about property than retailing. Some stores were sold to Allders and Debenhams before Philip Green sold his stake (to David Thompson) and moved on to the next deal". More information here about this book
The Queensmere shopping centre, BHS has been closed for a long time. The building at 204/208 High Street was at one time part of The Lidstone business according to Tom Suter's wife Doreen (née Lidstone) - Her family were involved at a business at 154 High Street, Slough
The escalator to the second floor is not working and the second floor appears shut and no longer a trading area and researching this with the Slough 1970s Facebook group it appears to have been shut for over six months.
to the right of the Suters sign on left of this image below
Below: Slough - June 2014
Above rear of "Debenhams" in Slough, on close up photo to left the brickwork is a different colour, beige by the two windows that was home to the boardroom. This was painted over after Owen Owen bought Suters in 1978 as the word Suters was there using a dark red coloured brick. You can just about see this on the image on the right below.
The image below right is the only remaining green on the building that the company used to use for shopping bags, vans, letterheads, flags, garage doors, goods entrance doors and signeage etc. This section of the building was an additional floor to accommodate the goods lift machinery.
In April 2019 according to BBC News on 26 April 19 "Debenhams has named 22 of the 50 stores it plans to close as part of a plan by new owners to revive the department store chain - Debenhams stores to close in 2020 - Slough"
15 January 2020 Goodbye Debenhams in Slough - An online report by David Less from the Slough & South Bucks Express said: Debenhams closed its doors this week after more than 30 years of trading in the High Street.
The retail chain announced its plans to scrap its Slough branch in May last year as part of nationwide cost-cutting measures.
The store’s long goodbye came to an end on Wednesday with shoppers given one final chance to hunt for bargains in a closing down sale.
A Debenhams spokesman said: “We would like to thank all our customers for your support over the years. We would also like to thank the local team and our colleagues in the store who have continued to deliver great service despite the news of the store closure.
“Once again we would like to thank everyone who has shopped with us in Slough and we look forward to extending a warm welcome to you at any of our stores around the country in the future.”
The unit belongs to the Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre which is targeted for redevelopment by the centre’s owner, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
Source: Slough & South Bucks Express 17 January 2020
The Slough & South Bucks Observer's Francis Batt reported online on the 16 January 2020
Shoppers in Windsor and Slough are facing the loss of two iconic stores this week.
The loss of Debenhams in Slough High Street - which finally closed on Wednesday - has been expected, following the company's earlier announcement of plans to shut a number of shops in the South East following major losses. But the closure this Saturday of the Lakeland kitchenware store in the Windsor Yards shopping centre has come as a surprise and a shock to shoppers in Windsor, coming after the loss of the adjoining Fenwick's department store and Next.
A statement for Lakeland said: "It is with regret that we’ve had to announce the closure of our Windsor operation in 2020.
"Lakeland has received notice from the landlord of their intention to redevelop the site, which will result in Lakeland vacating the unit. "Having explored all options currently available locally, Lakeland has sadly been unable to source a viable alternative to the current unit and as a result has no option but to announce the store’s closure with colleague consultations being undertaken.
"We are very proud of our store team, who have worked exceptionally hard to deliver a wonderful store environment for our customers, and we will be working closely with our colleagues to support them at this difficult time."
It is unclear from the statement who Lakelands' landlords actually are in the town and no-one was available to comment this week. But a spokesman for Aberdeen Standard Investments - investment agents for Windsor Yards - said: “We are, and have been, considering different options to this end of Windsor Yards, since Fenwick and Next vacated their units here. These are with the aim of introducing new tenants to Windsor and Windsor Yards and revitalising this part of the centre for the benefit of the whole town.”
Source: Slough & South Bucks Observer 16 January 2020
10 March 2020
10 August 2020 - The Slough and South Bucks Observer reported "New store to fill the gap left by Debenhams at Slough" - "The empty Debenhams site at Slough's Queensmere Observatory shopping centre has got a new tenant. Slough was just one of the towns left with a depressing gap after Debenhams pulled out - but now the prime site will house the national retailer Factory Outlet."
In November 1978 it was re-branded as Owen Owen. In 1991 it was reported to have been sold in the local press. More information here
After Slough was sold to Alders the Uxbridge store was split into two units around 1998 . It is now occupied by Superdrug on the ground floor and Sports Direct on the first and second floors.
By June 2014 the Old Woolworths premises has been occupied by Poundland. Had the Uxbridge site been sold off later after Woolworths closed, the two sites could have become a good size town centre department store. When the site was Suters (later Owen Owen) the sales area was some 34,969 sq feet, whereas with the Woolworth site a unit of some 70,000 sq feet could have been a possibility.
Below back in 1978
View from the Travelodge in Bakers Road onto the Uxbridge London Underground station and rear of Sports Direct. Photo taken by Philip Clavey in 2019 and sourced from Can You Remember Old Places And Shops In Uxbridge And The Surrounding Areas Facebook Group
Above Left: front cover from the Uxbridge and West Drayton Gazette - "Bygone Borough" from Wednesday 27th March 1996 (Source Russ Suter) This was originally Carrick & Coles and later became Burtons (Image courtesy of Can You Remember Old Places And Shops In Uxbridge And The Surrounding Areas Facebook Group)
Source of images, unless otherwise stated - Suter family archives