Following the initial success with the opening of their flagship store on Matthew Street in the heart of Liverpool’s Cavern Quarter.
The product lines expanded into designer clothing as well as the much sought after trainers, it remained the go-to shop outside of London for the football casual. The Matthew Street store covered 5 floors and famously incorporated an indoor climbing wall.
In 1998, Arcadia Group who held in their portfolio more mainstream brands including Topshop & Miss Selfridge purchased Wade Smith for £17.3 million. For devotees, there was always a doubt whether the brand could prosper under their new corporate umbrella? It was therefore met with all-round approval from the enthusiasts that had propelled the brand in its earlier success when Robert Wade Smith bought back the firm from Arcadia in 2001 for £7m.
The triumphant return proved relatively short-lived, the firm ceased operating and closed its doors for the final time in 2005.
While long gone, the legacy remains. Evidence can be seen on the terraces around the country every Saturday afternoon. Wade Smith was the store that introduced rare and sought after trainers to many a football casual.