Stationery retailer Colemans is still going strong 30 years on

Staff at the Stamford branch of Colemans celebrating the store's 30th birthday
Staff at the Stamford branch of Colemans celebrating the store's 30th birthday
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A celebration was held to mark 30 years of successful trading in Stamford for stationery retailer Colemans.

The firm, which has an art shop on the High Street and a stationery shop just metres away in St Paul’s Street, handed out glasses of prosecco and pieces of cake to customers last Thursday.

Colemans was founded by John Coleman who opened his first shop in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, in 1969.

It now has 13 branches in the eastern region and two in the west country.

Colemans opened in St Paul’s Street on February 17, 1987, under the management of Karen Holmes, who is now group operations manager for the wider business.

Karen said the products sold in store may have changed over the years, but the high-quality service offered to customers had not.

She said: “I can’t believe it is 30 years that we opening the store. It sounds a very long time ago, but doesn’t feel 
like it.

“When we first opened we used to sell things like typewriter ribbons, whereas today we sell a lot of ink cartridges for computer printers.

“Technology changes and we have moved with the times but we are still committed to offering exceptional service.”

Joey Coleman, daughter of company founder John, is the current managing director.

She said: “There were a lot more independent shops on the High Street when we opened up in 1987 – now it’s mainly the big multiple retailers. Despite competition from them and online retailers, we have continued to thrive.

“A lot of that is down to service. Customers know that if they come to Colemans, our staff will be able to answer any questions and offer expert advice and guidance.

“Also, many people like being able to see before they buy. You can’t do that online.”

John Coleman, who is now 84, is still working in the business, doing picture framing at the Oundle branch.