1902 - Mr Frank Newitt founded Newitt & Co Ltd, opening the doors down Goodramgate, York. Selling leather at wholesale to saddlers, shoemakers, cobblers and sports equipment manufactures.
1918 - After World War I Frank extend the premises through to St Andrewgate with a single storey leather warehouse on land leased from the city.
1925 - Franks son Raymond joined the business. Raymond saw the opportunity to start selling sports goods with there being a natural affinity between the leather trade and the limited range of sports goods.
1939 - Saw the start of World War II as Raymond was under the age for mandatory inclusion into the war he joined the merchant navy. As a result Frank lost all of the younger male staff as they had to go to war. Raymond's wife Margret was persuaded to join the business in a managerial role, she was a very good business women. She employed the women staff and made sure the business kept on growing.
1945 - After the war passed new trends started to appear. Sport began its explosive expansion in all forms while the leather and shoe repairing trade, hit by synthetics, the moulded rubber soul and the rise of multiple repair firms, was declining rapidly.
1950 - Started wholesaling the leather sports equipment around the UK.
1956 - Sports equipment side of the business had out grown the leather wholesale side.
1959 - Raymond's son John joined the business they both began a programme of diversification and vigorous expansion, the first step was the acquiring of the adjoining shop, doubling the Goodramgate frontage. John rapidly expanded the footwear and wellington distribution side of the business while Raymond directed the introduction and expansion of a department dealing in luggage, handbags, leather goods and sports clothing.
1962 - Leather wholesale side was discontinued and focus got turned exclusively to sports equipment.
1964 - Goodramgate shop had doubled in size with a massive increase in sports lines, particularly golf. Unfortunately, at that time, agreement still could not be reached with the corporation for the redevelopment of the old St Andrewgate leather warehouse and as the footwear trade and sports goods distribution department required much more space it was necessary to seek further accommodation. A range of warehouses stretching from Ogleforth to the bar walls was acquired in 1964 to cater for these trades.
1968 - After frustrating years of protracted negotiations with the corporation, agreement was reached on the purchase of the site and the old St Andrewgate warehouse was demolished. Work began immediately on the new extension and in the spring of 1969 staff were transferred from Ogleforth to St Andrewgate.
1980 - Johns oldest son Frank joined and Nicholas joining two years later, who are the current directors of the business today.
1984 - The company moved four times within York to progressively larger warehouses until it was decided to move to a green field site at Claxton Hall. This new headquarters with its ample space for warehousing, deliveries and parking was very necessary for the continued growth of the company which had been restricted by the increasing pedestrianisation of York's historic centre which made delivery and customer parking a problem. The wholesale side of the business moved to Claxton Hall, the 60,000 sq foot warehousing was perfect for deliveries and distribution.
1997 - Domain name www.newitts.com was registered and our first website was launched.
(Our first website design in 1998)
1998 - Shop closed down to focus on mail order (internet).
2002 - New website was launched. (please see below).
To be continued ...