Fascinating pictures offer a glimpse inside historic former Burton's shop in Sheffield up for auction with a starting price of £500,000
Burton is one of the most familiar names in UK retail, a brand long associated with the idea of quality suits for men at an affordable price.
And Sheffield has played a role in the company’s story almost from the very start.
The firm was founded by Meshe Osinsky, who began as a door-to-door salesman in Chesterfield before spotting a gap in the market for cheap clothing for working men, opening shops in Derbyshire and Mansfield.
Meshe – who had emigrated to England from what is now Lithuania in 1900 – changed his name to Maurice Burton, moved to Sheffield and set up a ‘Burton & Burton’ store on The Moor.
By the time of his death in 1952, the empire of Sir Montague Burton – as he became known – covered over 600 shops and 14 factories and was estimated to be dressing a quarter of the British male population. In particular the firm was famous for its three-piece demob suits, issued to men leaving the forces after the Second World War – it is widely believed that these inspired the phrase ‘The Full Monty’.
At one point demand for Burton’s made-to-measure garments was so great that the Sheffield suburb of Attercliffe supported two stores about 400 yards apart – and one of the old sites, on the corner of Attercliffe Road and Vicarage Road, is up for auction with a guide price of £500,000.
The building, next to the former Adelphi Cinema, still has many of its original features, including mosaic floor tiles, oak doors, antique locks, parquet flooring, an intact and prominently-positioned shop sign and a foundation stone laid in 1932 by Raymond Montague Burton, Sir Montague’s son.
In recent times the building has been known as The FullMonte, a place offering creative spaces for hire. Before that it was the Bodicar panel centre.
The freehold property overlooks the Olympic Legacy Park and is described by Purplebricks, the estate agent marketing the building, as an ‘exciting chance’ for commercial or residential buyers.
On the ground floor there is a stunning original Art Deco street entrance, and a large open plan area previously separated off with floor to ceiling drapes to create a live lounge used by music promoters.
“Half of the ground floor was previously occupied by an electronic theatre backdrop supplier and includes built in floor to ceiling shelving and workspace,” says Purplebricks.
Other parts of the building were previously hired out for band practice sessions, dance rehearsals and recording. There is also an open-plan space with two large skylights.
“From a commercial and residential point of view, this is a busy part of the city,” says Purplebricks, which suggests the property is ‘suitable for multiple uses with a guaranteed high yield under permitted development rules’.
Earlier this year the Burton brand and its online business was bought by online fashion retailer Boohoo after its previous owner, Arcadia, fell into administration. The deal did not include any of Burton’s modern day stores.