, whose trading name was inspired by a rambler rose of the same name, is a large British women's clothing retail
Retail consists of the sale of physical goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as a department store, boutique or kiosk, or by mail, in small or individual lots for direct consumption by the purchaser. Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery. Purchasers may be...
er, active mostly in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
Founded in 1909 under the name H. P. Newman, it changed its trading name to Dorothy Perkins in 1919. In the 1960s, Dorothy Perkins was controlled by the Farmer family. Staff in the branches could expect regular visits from Alan Farmer, whose picture was printed in a booklet handed to new employees. Best known for its lingerie, tights, and sleepwear collections, its other clothes had a hard time competing with the more trendy Lewis Separates, now owned by River Island Clothing Company Ltd
River Island is one of Britain's best known high street fashion brands and can be found in most cities across the UK. The brand also has stores in Singapore, Turkey, Poland, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the Middle East.-History:...
, and Peter Robinson.
One newspaper advertisement for management trainees asked: 'Will curls come in? Will maxis make it?' However, the stores never really got to grips with sixties boutique culture. Author Margret Geraghty who worked there for a while in the late sixties remembers that all the sales staff had to wear nylon uniforms: 'They were cerise with a zip up the front. Forget dolly birds. They looked more like canteen assistants.' The exception was the store manageress, who was permitted to wear her own clothes.
The company ran management trainee courses at its head office in Bracknell
Bracknell is a town and civil parish in the Borough of Bracknell Forest in Berkshire, England. It lies to the south-east of Reading, southwest of Windsor and west of central London...
, Berkshire, where prospective manageresses were taught 'introduction', a mild pressure-selling technique designed to entice customers into buying more than they'd intended. In 1973, British Land
The British Land Company plc is one of the largest property development and investment companies in the United Kingdom. The firm switched to Real Estate Investment Trust status when REITs were introduced in the United Kingdom in January 2007. It is headquartered in London...
bought Dorothy Perkins, and Group Managing Director David Roxburgh took over the company. Dorothy Perkins is now owned by the Arcadia Group
The Arcadia Group Limited a British company that owns the high street clothing retailers Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Topman, Topshop, Wallis and BHS, and the out of town chain Outfit, which sells lines from the other group chains...
. It has over 600 stores nationwide.
Dorothy Perkins product lines include Dresses, Jersey Tops, Knitwear, Coats, Tailoring, Denim, Shoes, Accessories, Jewellery, Lingerie, Maternity, Petite and Tall. Dorothy Perkins offer sizes 6-22 in most lines and have short, regular and long leg in most of their trousers. In shoes they offer UK sizes 3-8, and also 9 in some styles.
The company has an account card which offers incentive and reward schemes to customers, including vouchers for customers on their birthday and several 20% off VIP days per year. Credit is provided by Santander
The Santander Group is a banking group centered on Banco Santander, S.A., the largest bank in the Eurozone and one of the largest banks in the world in terms of market capitalisation. According to Forbes Magazine Global 2000, it is the 13th largest public company in the world...
. The card can be used at any store within The Seven Network.
Dorothy Perkins support The Woodland Trust and have raised enough to plant nearly 100,000 trees since May 2007, through selling limited edition clothing ranges.
Arcadia has an acclaimed training programme, which encourages employees to expand their responsibilities and knowledge of company and business affairs. Financial incentives are offered to employees to take advantage of this programme, which comprises three levels; Standard Level, Advanced Level and Top Level.