Palmers new buy online site

One of the region's largest independent store groups is offering customers the chance to buy online with a new website being officially launched at the end of this week.

One of the region's largest independent store groups is offering customers the chance to buy online with a new website being officially launched at the end of this week.

Leading the internet revolution at Palmers is Emma Sturrock, 25, representing the fifth generation of a family business that started in 1837 with Garwood Palmer opening a small shop in Great Yarmouth Market Place.

That shop has since grown into a large department store with Palmers now employing 400 staff at its five regional outlets.

Miss Sturrock, who went to Norwich High School before studying sociology and education at York University, said: “Garwood Burton Palmer is my great, great, great, great uncle and it is so exciting to think that 172 years on, I may be starting a new phase in the history of Palmers.


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“He started as a linen draper and silk mercer and our first venture on the web specialises in bed linen.”

She confessed that she had to explain everything to her father, managing-director Bruce Sturrock, as he did not understand websites at all - although she conceded he was a quick learner.

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The first of what is hoped will be a new generation of websites, TheLinenDepartment.co.uk, succeeds a much more modest earlier attempt, bedsbedsbedding, sharply upgrading the quality of presentation.

The site specialises in top-quality brands such as Kylie at Home, Cath Kidson, Twiggy, Bedeck and V&A, offering a bigger range than can be found in individual Palmers stores.

It provides comprehensive information from colour co-ordination tips and allergy advice to fabrics and fillings.

For a limited period, customers can take advantage of two special offers on the site - free delivery on all orders and a free pillow over �50.

Miss Sturrock, who has spent the past three years as a special projects co-ordinator at Foxtons estate agents in London, believes internet shopping has moved on from being purely price-orientated.

She believes the site will attract new customers seeking exciting ranges, linked with the security and first-rate service that comes with buying from a long-established family business.

“In the week before its official launch, we have already had 882 visits to the site, attracting customers from as far afield as London,” she said.

Miss Sturrock's next challenge is to update the Palmers website and she will then move on to the next transactional website, thebathtimedepartment.co.uk

She has registered the names of all Palmers departments and new websites, based on the same template created by Yarmouth firm TMS Media, will be added over the next year.

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