50 Years of Pavers Shoes

Posted by Pavers Blog Team on

50 Years of Pavers Shoes

2021 is a big year for us as it’s 50 years since Pavers began, to mark the occasion we’ve gathered together some of our favourite moments and milestones to celebrate our homegrown heritage … 

The best stories start with a great beginning … 

Our story started back in 1971 in York with our pioneering founder Catherine Paver, a mother of three boys, she had big dreams of changing the world of footwear and a passion that great-fitting, comfortable and stylish shoes should be available for all. So, she went to the bank for a business loan and was told it could not be done.  

Not one to be defeated, Cathy, armed with her determined spirit, visited the bank around the corner, this time taking out a £200 loan for what the bank believed was for a sofa, and with that Pavers was born … 

Grown from little acorns 

Using her £200 loan, Cathy began selling small items like children’s clothes and ladies accessories at homeware parties and village halls in York. 

Soon she realised there was a need to sell good-fitting, affordable shoes, and the rest is history.

Next stop, the high street

After ten years of hard work and determination, Pavers opened its first shoe shop in Scarborough. 

Cathy was joined by her three sons, Ian, Graham, and Stuart (now Managing Director). 

Moving on up

Cathy and her sons continued to build the Pavers’ name and over the next two decades further stores opened-up across the UK, making us a recognised name on the Great British high street.

Good places bring you good shoes …

A curious invention called the internet rose in popularity and the 00’s saw the launch of our very own website. 

By this point the demand for shoes was high so our eco-friendly distribution centre was built, making a home for us and our shoes with the environment in mind..

Drapers Lifetime Achievement Award

36 years after Pavers was founded, Cathy was presented with Drapers’ prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lights, camera, action … 

Pavers TV, the world’s first television channel dedicated to shoes arrived on our screens. 

Presented by Debbie Paver, Julie Peasgood, Derek Marks, John Scott, Sheila Brayshaw, and Linda Walton, our customers still love to tune into our channel which is now on YouTube!

Pavers England opened its doors in India

Our joint Indian venture, Pavers England, became the first foreign retailer to establish wholly owned stores in India. 

By 2016 stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi also opened.

The UK’s top 100 entrepreneurs

At the age of 83, Cathy features in Management Today’s prestigious UK Top 100 Entrepreneur List, her dedication and success with acknowledged alongside entrepreneurs such as James Dyson and Vivienne Westwood.

The Pavers Foundation

Honouring Cathy’s memory and to continue her legacy, the Pavers Foundation was launched. As an employee-led charitable trust the Foundation is dedicated in making a meaningful impact on communities around the UK and beyond.

Entrepreneur of the Year Award

In his 20th year as Managing Director, Stuart Paver (pictured left with Joint MD Jason Paver) was recognised for The EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award and The Direct Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award.

We are carbon neutral!

At the beginning of 2021 we became the first major UK shoe retailer to achieve the Carbon Neutral International Certification and we are also now a proud participant in the UN’s Climate Now initiative.

Today & Beyond 

We’d like to thank all of our customers for being a part of our very special story over the last 50 years. We will always be inspired by Cathy and the ethos that she founded Pavers with, it is still very much at the heart of everything we do and always will be.

To mark the 50th year of Pavers Shoes, the Pavers Foundation the Pavers Foundation reached a major milestone of donating £1 million within 3 years to worthy causes to causes across the UK and beyond.

Our colleagues and our stores sit in the heart of many communities across the UK, and the Pavers Foundation is dedicated to making meaningful differences to those within these communities. Led by our colleagues and their grant applications we have been able to support hundreds of community projects and charitable initiatives relating to health, education, and community.