Our Story

We’ve come a long way since 1865

Since William Timpson first opened our doors, Timpson Group has grown and evolved significantly over the past 150+ years. 

Even through such a long history, we’ve remained a family-run business focused on doing things the right way. After all, our values and culture make the Timpson Group what it is today.

Including Timpson, Max Spielmann, Johnson Dry Cleaners & other big names.

Our brands have got shops on the high street all over the country. Visit us today!

All of our amazing friendly superstars are absolutely integral to our success.

That’s how long our family-run business has been raising smiles on the high street. 

Find our shops inside Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons & other top supermarkets.

Take professional passport & ID photos at one of our wheelchair-friendly booths.

Print photos instantly at our iSnaps kiosks – found in all kinds of convenient places.

You can now find small Timpson pods in supermarket car parks across the UK.

Nobody else has a story quite like ours

From 1865 to today, here’s a quick timeline of Timpson through the years. Watch James & John tell our story instead.


First Shop

  • At the age of just 16, shoemaker William Timpson founded Timpson LTD and opened his first shop on Oldham Road in Manchester.

New Factory

  • Timpson expanded from shoe selling into shoe manufacturing and repair. In 1903, the first shoe repair factory was established in Hulme, Manchester

New Factory

  • A brand-new shoe factory was opened in Kettering in 1922, before Timpson was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1929.

Shoe Repairs

  • Having opened over 260 shoe shops, the shoe repair business grew significantly during the ‘60s – as repairs were now available on shoe shop premises and in standalone repair shops on the high street.

Managing Director

  • After becoming Managing Director in 1975, John Timpson led a management buyout of the business from then-owners Hanson Trust PLC.

New Services

  • Timpson introduced a range of new services in shops, such as watch repairs, engraving and dry cleaning. In 1995, the acquisition of Automagic and Mister Minit allowed Timpson to open 300+ new shops.

Max Photo

  • Over 40 Sainsbury’s concessions were acquired by Timpson Group, and printing specialists Max Spielmann was then bought out of administration.
2013 - 2014


  • Keen to expand the photo printing business, Timpson Group bought Snappy Snaps, Tesco Photo and arranged a partnership deal with ASDA Photo.

New Brands

  • After agreeing to take over dry cleaning operations in Morrisons supermarkets, Timpson Group next acquired the Johnsons Dry Cleaners and Jeeves of Belgravia businesses. 

2000th Shop & Barbershops

  • The 2000th store in the Timpson Group was officially opened in Queensferry, and the first few Barbershops were also opened that same year.

Queen’s Award

  • The Timpson Group achieved the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise. The Queen recognised the contribution of every colleague in the business, so this was an award for them.

New Shops

  • The Watch Lab, Iconx, Le Tremplin, In-Time, and The Watch Hospital have all joined the Timpson Group in the past few years… and new shops are being opened all the time!

The Timpson story – told by John & James!

Hey, get to know Timpson Group even better