Slaters Menswear History
Slaters was started by the original Mr Slater, Samuel, who came over from Russia in 1904 and
settled in the Gorbals area in Glasgow, where he followed his only skill and opened a tailor's
shop. Over the years Samuel's tiny business began to grow, his sons joined him, and they
created a substantial manufacturing company making men's formal clothing.
In 1973 a huge fire devastated the company and Samuel's son Ralph (at the age of 55), was
forced to make the difficult decision to start again from scratch. During this time the company
began to branch out into retailing. Customers loved the service they received and the demand
for new products grew.
Eventually the manufacturing side of the company came to an end and Slaters devoted itself to
retail only. Evidence of our manufacturing roots can still be seen, however, in the alterations
department that is available in every store. The original retail store was located on Howard Street in
Glasgow and gradually took over the entire building, which houses the store you see today.
Ralph Slater became the public face of the company. Ralph was known to every customer by name
and ultimately emerged as a Glasgow legend. Some customers even referred to the store as
“Ralphie's” – many still do. He treated his customers like friends, and it's him we have to thank for
the Quality Street chocolates we have in every store –another personal touch from a very kind
and modest man.
In 1984 a Slaters store opened in Ayr; another launched in Manchester in 1988. The company
continues to grow and now we operate 23 stores throughout the United Kingdom. Our Head Office
is in our Glasgow store, where it has always been.
Customer service is and always has been one of the most important aspects of the business. We
listen to our customers and bend over backwards to make them happy. We believe in good, old
fashioned customer service and this is the way it will always be.
The business is now run by Ralph's son, Paul Slater, and remains a family business with his
sister Susan and son Mark both working for the company.