Peter Bromley, former chairman of premium footwear retailer Russell & Bromley, has died of lung cancer at the age of 68.

Bromley maintained a low profile in the industry, preferring instead to make his mark through the family business co-founded by his great grandfather George Frederick Bromley in 1873. He became a director of the footwear chain in 1971 and chairman from 1989 until 2003. During that period he oversaw a shake-up of the Russell & Bromley store portfolio - opening a series of large standalones in central London and shopping centres like Brent Cross and Bluewater.

Bromley also cemented Russell & Bromley’s reputation for maintaining a commitment to product quality.

He was passionate about high quality service and for many years insisted that all Russell & Bromley shop staff spent a full day at Barkers footwear factory.

Lance Clark, founder of footwear brand and retailer C&J Clarks, said: “Peter built a distinctive and dedicated family business on superb shoes. It was evident he had a love and passion for the product.”

Russell & Bromley grew operating profit 26.3% to £13.9m in the 12 months to December 31 as sales increased 6.2% to £88.1m.