Famous for its children’s shoes and foot-health initiatives, this family-owned business was created when James Clark started making sheepskin slippers from offcuts in his brother’s tannery. Although still headquartered in Somerset, most Clark’s shoes today are made in Vietnam, China and Brazil. The company claims to be the world’s biggest supplier of casual footwear, selling 50m pairs of shoes annually. After joining as a graduate in 1988, Melissa Potter replaced Peter Bolliger as chief executive earlier this year. The company reported sales of £1,174m in the 12 months to January 2010.

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Company details
Year2010
Rank33
CompanyClarks
ActivityShoe retailer and wholesaler
LocationSomerset
Sales £m1,174
Profit £m125
Year endJan 10
Principal shareholdersClark family (81%), employees and institutions (19%)
Staff13,364
Founded1825
Websitewww.clarks.com

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* Supplied by company † Annualised figure