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Brand Spotlight – Parker Knoll

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This month, our spotlight is on Parker Knoll.

The business that was to become Parker Knoll was started in 1869 by Frederick Parker. Over the next few years the business steadily grew, as he began manufacturing furniture for the gentry & leading London retail establishments.

Larger premises were soon purchased at 16 Wenlock Street in London.

Frederick Parker knoll
Victorian Gentlemen

Frederick took pride in using the best of British craftsmanship to create the finest furniture. His father was a cabinet maker who passed his skills on to his sons. As Frederick expanded his family, 3 of his 7 sons joined the business as innovators & inventors.

To this day, Parker Knoll continue to lead the market in innovative designs & technology.

In the 1920’s, Parker’s sons met Willi Knoll. His revolutionary ideas helped to modernise comfort & transform the business.

The coiled steel wire spring developed by Knoll remains unchanged in many of their chairs today.

Springs PK 1920s
tension suspension parker knoll

In the 1930’s, Parker Knoll became the first British company to advertise nationally in the UK. They created their Man-on-Spring advert & radical window displays.

In 1932 Parker Knoll chairs are chosen to furnish a large proportion of the BBC headquarters at Portland Place.

When King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936, he was sitting on a Parker Knoll chair.

By the early 1960s Parker Knoll entered a new period of transition by deciding to increase mass production and the constructed a new factory in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire to enter the three piece suite market.

In 1976 Parker’s great grandchildren, Martin and Tom Jourdan, became the fourth generation to  lead the company.

Parker Knoll 1960s
Parker Knoll factory 2016

In 1996, the company was named the number 1 furniture brand in the UK, and by 2005 the company had become part of Sofa Brands International Group.

Parker Knoll is truly a company that has reacted to one of the most trying periods in British history & come out stronger on the other side.

Parker Knoll has successfully positioned itself as a staple of British furniture quality and design, and continues to innovate to this day.

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