Established in 1886, the company is a family owned business specialising in high quality workplace products. We sell to the UK’s largest retailers, logistics companies, Public Sector organisations and Manufacturers. Over our 130 year history we have established an enviable network of UK and International suppliers including Expresso, Numatic, Cosco, Ravendo, Tensator, JSP and many more. This enables us to offer the highest quality equipment at the best prices.
Parrs are also a proud British manufacturer, making product here in the Midlands. For instance the Roll-Step is a great example of a competitively priced, high quality, UK manufactured product.
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.
In January 1886 Francis Parr set up as a wheelwright in the market area of Birmingham to service the ever-increasing demands for moving people around the towns and cities of Queen Victoria’s Empire. 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. Products all made with great skill and pride in the manufacturing heart of England.
In the 1920s the demand for horse-drawn carts dropped, and it was important for Parrs to diversify in order to survive. Working out of his original Dean Street premises, the company was repositioned as a manufacturer of sack trucks and porter’s trucks (products made with such extraordinary skill that they are still used today in the Birmingham wholesale markets). The business also used its team of highly skilled Wheelwrights and Blacksmiths to repair any barrow, truck or trolley that was brought in.
The great depression came and went, and, as a result of the Companies Act, the business became a limited company in 1933. F. Parr Ltd now took its first steps into marketing and identified its target customer as a street trader and advertised the developing repair business on the back of Birmingham buses.
The business continued to thrive at Dean Street until forced to move in 1970 as a result of growth and the redevelopment of the Birmingham Wholesale Markets. In 1970 the business moved to purpose-built premises in Sherlock Street, complete with a large showroom. In 1974 F. Parr Ltd was acquired by the Scholes family and the company continued to develop and broaden its product range, incorporating products purchased from other manufacturing companies. Ladders, Pallet Trucks, Steps and Racking were introduced to the range.
It was at this time that catalogue companies were beginning to emerge. As purchasing departments shrank and communications through telephone and telex improved, the concept of one-stop mail order was born.
In late 1989 PARRS moved again to purpose-built premises in Redditch, Worcestershire with complete attention on supplying industrial products through direct mail. With the advent of email communication and ultimately online purchasing, Parrs was able to develop distance selling to a point where the catalogue was now over 750 pages containing over 15,000 product codes.
As the new millennium arrived, the way in which people bought workplace equipment changed again. The growth of online purchasing dominated and catalogues started to decline. Parrs website gave us the opportunity to market even more quality workplace equipment.
We understand that a business that is 130 years old must combine recognition of its past with a vision for the future. Quality products sold at exceptional prices are what enabled Francis Parr’s business to grow and succeed in 1886. The types of products and the ways in which they are sold and marketed have changed enormously over the last 130 years, however, Parrs have never compromised on quality.
The global pandemic put Parrs supply chains to the test. We organised PPE for our customers and our staff excelled themselves by adapting to Working From Home. Parrs has now dealt with two worldwide pandemics, 1917 and 2020.