Parrs is a leading UK independent distributor of workplace equipment.
Established in 1886, PARRS is a family-owned business that specialises in high-quality workplace products. We sell to the UK’s largest retailers, logistics companies, Public Sector organisations and Manufacturers.
Over our 135 year history, we have established an enviable network of UK and International suppliers, including Expresso, Numatic, Cosco, Ravendo, Tensator, JSP and many more. With a wealth of experience, knowledge and connections at our disposal, we are able to offer the highest quality equipment at the best prices.
Here at Parrs, we don’t just sell other brands, we are also a proud British manufacturer of the Parrs kick step.
Whether you are looking for a reliable sack truck, a great set of steps or just a health and safety poster, Parrs has the right product for you at the right price.
With 135 years in the industry, through generations of experience Parrs has carved a reputation as one of the best in the industry, and it all stems back to the year 1886.
Francis Parr set up as a wheelwright in the market area of Birmingham in September 1886 to service the ever-increasing demands for moving people around the towns and cities of Queen Victoria’s Empire. As demand grew and business boomed, he quickly took on a blacksmith to produce the iron fittings for the Hansom cabs.
The business soon prospered in the manufacture of wheels for tradesmen’s carts, flower trolleys and funeral biers. All of Francis Parr’s products were crafted with great skill and pride in the manufacturing heart of England. PARRS started to craft its excellence as a manufacturer, and by the start of the Great War, PARRS became a major UK manufacturer of wooden wheelbarrows, which were used to help with trench building on the western front.
As technology developed in the ’20s, the demand for horse-drawn carriages started to decline, and as a forward-thinking business, PARRS refined and diversified its offering in order to survive.
PARRS continued to operate in its original Dean Street premises and shifted towards the production and manufacturing of sack trucks and porter’s trucks. Some of these original products can still be found in Birmingham wholesale markets today due to their excellent craftsmanship and durability. Sack trucks are an important part of PARRS, and we continue to deliver expertise and fine craftsmanship in this department to this day.
This is the year that PARRS officially became a registered business, and by this time, PARRS was the go-to place for sack trucks, barrows, coal trucks and porter’s trucks in Birmingham. PARRS has built a reputation on quality, and it was this quality that continued to bring back customers time and time again. It was during this period that former King Edward VIII used a PARRS barrow as pictured below.
In 1939, PARRS were called upon for help once again and started to manufacture and supply for the war effort delivering barrows for the army.
Over the next 30 years, the PARRS business grew from strength to strength in its original Dean Street premises. Due to the redevelopment of the Birmingham Wholesale Markets, the beloved original premises had to be shut down and PARRS was relocated to their purpose-built premises in Sherlock Street.
With these new premises, PARRS developed a showroom to display its products to the public. It was during this period that the business was acquired by the Scholes family. The Scholes family continued with the legacy of the business and developed their product offerings and started to introduce more, such as ladders, steps and pallet trucks.
This period of development saw the introduction of the first PARRS catalogue, and distance selling was introduced alongside packaging and signage. Packaging and signage is something that we continue to trade in and we now have a very diverse range of products available for you to use in your business, including safety posters, notices and more.
The ’90s saw PARRS move again! This time, the business was moved to another purpose-built location in Redditch – Worcestershire. After the rise of the catalogue, the business diverted its attention to supplying industrial products through direct mail. It was during this period that PARRS could develop its catalogue to feature a whopping 15,000+ products and was over 750 pages.
The 2000s saw a real shift in how businesses and consumers bought products. With the growth of the digital world and eCommerce, PARRS launched its website to showcase the varied products available.
This was a time period of real growth for PARRS, especially in the digital world. Refining the PARRS website and customer experience has always been an important part of our brand, but this decade allowed us to create a customer experience that is rich, efficient and helpful for businesses.
When the global COVID pandemic hit in 2020, the PARRS supply chain was put to the test. It was a difficult time for businesses and the public but a time where our values as a business really came to the forefront. We organised PPE for our customers to ensure that they could continue to operate in a way that was safe, and our team members adapted to working from home. PARRS has now dealt with 2 worldwide pandemics in 1917 and 2020.
In September 2021, we celebrated our 135th birthday as a business and have taken the time to reflect on the history of the business and brand and to assess where we are going in the future.
For PARRS, the future is bright, and we are extremely thankful for your custom, and we will continue to be there for any of your needs and take you on our journey.