Parker Dutch Bulbs (Wholesale) Ltd. Established 1933
Welcome to our gardening website and we hope you find your visit both informative and enjoyable.
During the depression in 1933, Martin Parker flew to England from his small hometown in Beverwijk, Holland, to start a mail-order bulb business. He came from three generations of bulb growers and exporters in Holland and felt ready to start a new venture in England.
J. Parker’s came from humble beginnings. The wholesale business started in a small, terraced house on Chester Road in Manchester. This was then run by Martin and his wife Joan, who would package products in the garden shed. They continued trading from their home as a small-scale operation from the late ‘30s, all the way through the second world war.
1950’s Gardening Boom The business slowly grew and in the ‘50s, Martin’s son Christopher joined the family business. A mini gardening boom in the 1950s encouraged the family to expand the company. They agreed to buy some farmland in Anwick, Lincolnshire to grow bulbs. During the ‘50s the company was highly successful. Around the same time, the retail branch of the company was created and run from Manchester, and wholesale began to be run from Anwick, Lincolnshire.
1971 Postal Strike
In 1971, Britain’s first national postal strike began. The strike lasted for 7 weeks, and Parker’s had over a million pounds (in today’s money) invested in undelivered catalogues. The strike ended up putting the company in a vulnerable position, and the family were forced to sell off acres of their land in Anwick and their mailing list to keep the company afloat.
In the early ‘70s, Martin’s son Chris Parker took charge of the retail business, and later also took on the wholesale side of the business. This became highly profitable through reader offers that included bargains and price comparisons from competitors, which was considered quite controversial back in the day, making a stir in the horticulture industry. During the ‘70s, the retail catalogue grew from a small read into a full-range shopping catalogue.
During the early ‘80s, the company steadily expanded and found a new headquarters on Hadfield Street in Manchester, which is still our home office and contact centre today! The company switched things up, making the Manchester warehouse the dispatch space for retail, and wholesale dispatching from Anwick. Martin helped run the Anwick warehouse into his old age, allowing him to meet his customers in the Anwick garden centre, which he loved.
The Next Generation
Chris’s sons, Paul and Daniel, began doing odd jobs around the Manchester warehouse in their early teens during the school holidays, like cleaning and counting bulbs. After studying Business studies at University, Paul officially joined the business in 1998, and would later become a director after several years of hard work. Soon after, Daniel followed suit, becoming the manager of the Flixton garden centre.
Before starting his career in the family’s business, Daniel studied fine art and landscape architecture at university. He then became a garden designer upon graduation, undertaking projects on behalf of the RHS, NHS, and even Gary Nevill. Through the 2000s he designed several show gardens at the RHS Tatton Garden Show, the final of which achieved best in show and a Gold Award. In the early 2000s, the development of what is now our website went underway. Before then, the business had been primarily mail-order, but the website revolutionised our order system, allowing us to grow faster than ever before. In 2016, Paul became Managing Director at J. Parker’s, until last year when he was made CEO. His father, Chris, remains the company Chairman and still works dedicatedly on the wholesale side of the business, which grows steadily each year.
Our New Garden Centres
In 2010 we rebuilt our Flixton Garden Centre, expanding our sales area and incorporating a Coffee shop and restaurant. This new and improved Garden Centre was launched in the spring of 2011 and stands strong to this day. In 2015, plans for a new 25,000 sq. ft warehouse and renovated garden centre began, running til’ 2016. Floor-to-ceiling windows, a new café and increased parking are just a few of the many perks that the new garden centre offers customers.
Expansion of Production Facilities
In 2017 it was decided to expand the production facilities at Anwick by a further 60,000 sq. Ft, as well as a new nursery to facilitate the movement of our Retail despatch from Manchester. The construction at the Anwick site started in mid-2019, lasting just 8 months and resulting in a large, sophisticated despatch facility. This allows us to send plants and bulbs in nursery fresh condition to customers’ doors as quickly and efficiently as possible!
Parker’s in the Present Day
Having achieved our 5-year growth goal in just 12 months in 2021, the future for J. Parker’s is bright! As we continue to provide innovative and quality products at competitive prices, assisted with market-leading customer service, CEO Paul Parker is excited to continue growing the business organically - with family at the helm!
We have invested considerably in the past few years in our customer care systems, including warehousing and despatch. All orders placed online will receive an email confirmation, clearly showing all items ordered and the estimated delivery details.
We have designed our new website with our customers in mind and we are constantly looking for new ways of making the website as good as it can be. All feedback is certainly welcome and can be provided by using the contact us section or by clicking here.
Our head office and despatch centre are conveniently based in Old Trafford, Manchester. We receive and process all orders from our state of the art call centre and all orders are despatched from the warehouse on-site.
J Parker Dutch Bulbs (Wholesale) Ltd,
14 Hadfield Street,
Telephone – 0161 848 1100
Fax – 0161 848 9494
Email – [email protected]
Company registered in England no. 1467306. VAT Reg No. 306 147288
We also run three garden centres in Manchester and Cheshire. For more details on our garden centres and on how to find them you can visit their website at www.parkersgardencentre.com
Flixton Garden Centre
Telephone - 0161 748 5187
Located 2 miles from Junction 6 off M60.
Prestbury Garden Centre
Nr Mottram St. Andrew
Telephone - 01625 520002
Located 1.5 miles from the A34 on the B5358 only two miles from Wilmslow.
Anwick Garden Centre
Old Manor Farm
20 Church Lane
Telephone - 01526 832 277
Located a short distance off the A153, near Sleaford and Ruskington.