Pramland predicts a baby business boom and growth
PRAM BUSINESS: From left, Beth Bell, Julie Bolder, Phil Barker and Aimee Swaby, at the new store in Courtney Street.
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 11 Jan 2018
A BUSINESS that was born to cater for the baby boomer market has completed a move to a new home as it heads past most people’s retirement age.
Pramland opened its doors in Holderness Road, Hull, in 1950 and became an institution, building its business by serving growing families. But, as the company matured and space became a squeeze, it needed somewhere bigger.
Over the Christmas break, the owners relocated to new premises in Courtney Street, about a mile from the previous premises, and the new year has brought the launch of an exciting new era.
John Barker, of Pramland, said: “We are close to the old place, but we couldn’t be further away in terms of style, space and layout. The move enables us to bring in new products and stock more of the brands that we already have.”
Dale Gooderham, senior agency surveyor at Garness Jones, said the relocation also demonstrates the need to move with the times in a sector that has been transformed during Pramland’s lifetime.
Dale said: “People love Pramland and some families have been shopping there for 67 years. It’s a sign of its success that they have just kept growing and have also kept an eye on the future.
“But, as with most business sectors, products change and new trends emerge. Pramland needed more space for the things it does now and for the plans it has for development, and, with nearly 6,500 sq ft it has recognised that this site is ideal.
“For many years Pramland was just prams – people walked in and pushed the prams home. But over the years the industry has developed hugely. There is a much wider range of prams and other products and people want to see them, which means more display space.
“Pramland’s new home has plenty of that and, significantly, it’s also great for parking. When Pramland opened all those years ago there was no such thing as car seats, but now they’re big business and carefully
“Parents want to see what is available, but they also want to know how to fit a car seat and how to adjust it. That was a big problem for Pramland at Holderness Road, but at the new premises customers can park right outside the front door.”
The new premises
Phil Barker and Julie Bolder have been running Pramland since 2000.
John, Phil’s son, joined them ten years ago and is looking forward to developing the online side of the business, adding to the team of eight and broadening the customer base as he embarks on a ten-year lease at the new site.
John Barker said: “The main thing that limited us at Holderness Road was the layout and size of the property. The shop floor limited the range that we could display and the store room limited the stock that we could carry, so we haven’t been able to sell anything online.
“We have taken the business to this level purely based on the local market, but we are expanding with customers in Scarborough, Doncaster, Grimsby and York and we know we can compete with anyone on price and quality.
“If we haven’t grown by 30 or 40 per cent over the next 12 months there will be something wrong.
“We want to double our turnover in the next three years, but we don’t want to be a faceless national business.
We now have the professional look of a big company, but we will maintain all the benefits you get from an independent business in terms of quality and service.”