Price’s Department Store(s) Botolph Street Started life as “Granny Price’s Haberdashery” which was set up by Alice Jane Price in nearby Magdalen Street in 1885. At that time, husband Frank Price was a Commercial Traveller (Travelling Salesman), travelling around Norfolk with his Pony and Cart trying to sell his wares.
Frank had two Sons: Frank (Jr) and Roy who took over the running of the business. Frank died in 1922.
At its peak the store had 40 Departments and had stores on both sides of Botolph Street. Staff often offered customers a glass of Port in store and customers queuing outside for sale events were offered Tea and Whiskey (or both!) by Frank himself.
Roy Price: “We strive to give service and civility. We believe in personal service for every customer for every purchase. If a customer wants something we will endeavour to supply it”. Note the comparison to the evolution of retail and the death of customer service.
The Store used a “Pneumatic Railway” to move money around the store.
Price’s also had two traveling shops in vans that would often visit hospitals.
The staff had a great sense of pride for their work and loyalty to their employers, often fondly referring to themselves as being part of the “Price Brigade”. The Price Brigade often had staff outings.
One of, if not the first shop to introduce ‘Profit Sharing’ for its staff.
Price employed over 100 staff when the store finally closed in 1963. Roy Price then tirelessly helped former staff to gain new employment before opening a Wool Shop nearby on Magdalen Street. The Shop staged Fashion Shows at the Industries Club (The Talk).
Stories to Google:
WW2 A People’s War – “A wartime wedding”.