Lifetime Achievement award for David Coe

David Coe receives his Lifetime Achievement award from Eric Musgrave, editor in chief of Drapers.

David Coe receives his Lifetime Achievement award from Eric Musgrave, editor in chief of Drapers. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk businessman David Coe has received a Lifetime Achievement in recognition of his career at Coes, the family-owned retail business based in Ipswich.

Mr Coe, 77, started work at the age of three, when he began folding handkerchiefs and counting clothing coupons in the family’s original store in Norwich Road, Ipswich.

He officially started work during school holidays when he was 14 and took over the firm at the age of just 18 following the death of his father, William, who had founded the business in 1928.

During his time at the helm the Ipswich business grew and a number of new branches were opened, at locations including Felixstowe, Lowestoft and Maldon from where the company also continues to trade.

Mr Coe handed over the reins to his son, also William, 15 years ago, since when the flagship store in Ipswich has been further developed.

The Drapers Independents Awards, held this year at The Brewery venue in London, aim to provide recognition for every aspect of the independent fashion retail industry.

“In the 25 years since they were inaugurated in 1991, the Drapers Independents Awards have become a calendar fixture for the industry,” said Eric Musgrave, editorial director at Drapers magazine, which organises the awards.

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“The competition has become a national institution with both the industry and consumers, a standard for – and recognition of – excellence in all aspects of indie fashion retailing in the UK and Ireland.”