SAT 7TH DEC 2019


Bringing the family business community together

Goulds (Dorchester) Ltd

Business Address: Goulds (Dorchester) Ltd, 22-23 South Street, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1DA

Country: England,

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About Goulds (Dorchester) Ltd

We have developed into Dorset's foremost department store, proud of our enviable reputation of providing first class shopping facilities and a service to match for all our customers.

Goulds of Dorchester was established in April 1902 by the great grandparents of two of the present Directors, Anthony and Chris Gould. Harry and Florence Gould opened a drapers shop on the corner of High East Street and Icen Way, when in those days the shopping public had to contend with bicycles and horse drawn carriages.

The business enjoyed a period of steady growth during which the founders’ sons, Ronald, Arthur and Ted, joined the company having completed their retail training.  Ronald and Arthur Gould took over the directing of the company and it was as a result of their enthusiasm and vision, the foundations were laid for today’s successful family business.

At the end of 1964 Ronald Gould died, leaving his brother Arthur to manage the company’s affairs with the support of John Keeping, the company’s accountant. It was at this time that the next generation of Goulds became interested and became involved in the family’s retailing business. Richard Gould (son of Ronald) joined the business in 1966, followed by Stephen (son of Arthur) in 1968 and Roger (son of Ronald) in 1969.

Upon the death of Arthur Gould in 1971, John Keeping became Chairman of the Board of Directors. He was actively involved in advising and negotiating the company’s expansion programme during a period lasting 23 years. Mr Christopher Gould took over the position of Chairman of the company until 2002.

In 1974 Goulds purchased the established business of E. Morris and Son at Fortuneswell, Portland. After the purchase of Houghton’s of Dorchester as a going concern in 1979, it was decided to concentrate efforts in Dorchester. This decision led to the closure of the Portland store in 1981. Goulds was then trading from three prime sites in Dorchester, in fashions, household goods and furniture and carpets.

The carpet department was later expanded within the furniture store when Philip Gould (the third son of Ronald) joined the business in 1979. 1983 saw a new extension added to the Household Store. This was followed in 1987 by a first floor extension with escalator where toys were sold and stock room, offices and staff room facilities on the second floor.

In order to provide display facilities for furniture and carpets it was decided to buy freehold premises at the southern end of South Street.

1996 saw the company achieve “Investors In People” status for the first time, a prestigious award of which the company is immensely proud. In 1997 Goulds purchased the freehold of Humphries Garden Centre at Preston, Weymouth, covering a seven acre site and employing around 25 staff.

January 1998 saw the move of the general accounts office to a new location above the old Wimpy Restaurant, which enabled us to increase the selling space on the first floor of the Fashion Store. August 2000 saw the early retirement of Richard Gould after 35 years service to the company. In September of the same year Anthony Gould, (Roger's son) joined Goulds, the first member of the fourth generation to become involved with the company.

In 2002 the company celebrated its Centenary year. The longevity of this achievement for an independent family business has only been made possible through the years of dedication, loyalty and hard work from everyone who has been a part of the business and the great family tradition. Christopher Gould retired as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Michael Mitchell, had previously been the Chairman of Beales, became our new Chairman at Goulds.

During 2003, Teresa Woolley joined the Company from Haskins Garden Centres as our Finance Director.  The Garden Centre underwent a major re-development during 2004 to consolidate our market position and modernise our facilities, with the aim of maximising our future potential on this site.

Early 2005 has seen a major re-furbishment of the Household Store. Chris Gould (Roger’s second son) joined the company. He has taken on the role of Department Manager in our extended Linens department.

In October 2007 Goulds Online, our first ecommerce business was launched.  Teresa Woolley became the Managing Director of Goulds in July 2008 until leaving the company in December 2011.

In May 2008 Chris Gould and Rebecca Murphy became Directors of Goulds and joined the Board.  During 2011 we were re-awarded the Investors in People award in recognition of our continuing commitment to developing our teams. We were also very pleased to be shortlisted for the Drapers Fashion Award 2011 for Department Store of the Year.

Still a family business, Goulds celebrated its 110th birthday in 2012.  In December 2012 we opened the Dorset Kitchen Food To Go, a catering outlet for busy people who want quality, locally inspired food quickly.

Goulds is proud of its record of providing employment (over 110 employees today) and first class shopping facilities for the people of Dorset. It is our hope that this established family tradition will continue to flourish.