S Simmonds & Son was established in 1837 by Sarah Simmonds as a general clothing company undertaking alterations and also making smocks from their premises in Chapel Place, Tunbridge Wells. Sarah was just 16 years old when she founded the business. In 1855 Sarah’s son Frank joined the business and it then became a hatter and clothier, serving the surrounding countryside. In 1928 Frank’s son, also called Frank, moved the business to new premises at 64 Calverley Road in Tunbridge Wells. Although at the time the family considered this a risky venture and they wondered if Frank had paid too much for the property it proved to be a very wise decision and the building is now a landmark in centre of the town.
The company has been run by six successive generations and as each generation took over the reins of the business it was instilled into them that our customers are the most important part of our business. Simon Smith who now manages the company remembers his grandfather Howard Simmonds and his father Robert Smith explaining how to ensure that the tradition of putting customers first remains the corner stone of the business saying, “Look after your customers by offering them quality clothing, value for money and good service”.
With the advent of the internet and online shopping Simon recognised that the way customers wished to shop was changing. In 2006 Simmonds launched its online shopping site for school uniforms, www.simmonds-ltd.com . The popularity of the web site has grown year on year since the original launch and in 2017 the online shopping experience was upgraded to the site you are now using.
Today Simmonds has a large warehouse located in Paddock Wood that incorporates a dedicated customer service and distribution team. The warehouse not only supports the demands of online selling but also traditional retailing through the Tunbridge Wells store and the many uniform shops operated within schools.
Simmonds has a program of continued investment into the business and this includes embracing new technology and the shopping needs of our customers in the 21st Century. Finally, Simmonds still believes in the principals of its founder, our customers are the most important part of our business.