Our Heritage

With over 100 years’ experience Goulds has developed into the area’s foremost and most modern Department Store Group.

Please click here for recruitment opportunities in our stores and garden centre

Established in 1902 and with over a hundred and fifteen years’ retail experience, Goulds has developed into Dorset’s premier department store group.

Still an independent family run business, we’re proud of our enviable reputation of providing first class shopping facilities and a service to match for our customers.

All the latest trends in home furnishings, gifts, women’s fashion and gardening have been brought together to bring you the best in quality and value.

Opened by Harry and Florence Gould, the great grandparents of two of the present directors, Anthony and Chris Gould, the first draper’s shop was located on the corner of High East Street and Icen Way in Dorchester’s town centre. With other premises opened in Portland and more in Dorchester, it was decided that efforts would be concentrated on the Dorchester stores: Goulds Household Store and Goulds Fashion Store. In 1997 Humphries Garden Centre at Weymouth was purchased and is now known as Goulds Garden Centre, the place to shop in south Dorset for plants, pots, garden furniture and horticultural products.

The business has enjoyed steady growth since the doors first opened back in 1902, with the founder’s sons, Ronald, Arthur and Ted joining the company after completing their retail training. Ronald and Arthur eventually took over the directing of the company and it was their enthusiasm and vision that laid the foundations for today’s successful stores and garden centre. When Ronald died, Arthur carried on running the company along with the help of their accountant, John Keeping, and over the next few years the next generation of Goulds became interested and involved in the family business. Richard and Roger, the sons of Ronald, and Stephen, the son of Arthur, joined the company with John Keeping becoming Chairman of the Board after the death of Arthur. He was actively involved in advising and negotiating the company’s expansive programme during a period of 23 years.

In 1979 Philip Gould, Ronald’s third son, joined the company. Christopher Gould was appointed chairman in 1994 and John Keeping continued with Goulds as the company secretary.

In 2000 Richard retired from the family business and Roger’s son Anthony joined as Garden Centre Director.

Goulds celebrated their Centenary year in 2002. 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 part of the business and the great family tradition.
2002 also saw the retirement of Christopher Gould and the appointment of Michael Mitchell, previous Chairman of Beales.

Roger’s second son, Chris, joined the family company in 2005, becoming the department manager of the Bedding and Bathroom department.

Chris Gould and Rebecca Murphy both became Directors of Goulds in May 2008 and in 2011 we were re-awarded the Investors In People Award. We were also very pleased to have been shortlisted for the Drapers Fashion Award 2011 for Department Store of the Year.

In March 2015, we were delighted to have won First Place for Best Window Display and runner up for Best Social Media at the first Dorchester Independent Retailers Awards.

Current members of the Board of Directors are:

  • Michael Mitchell – Chairman
  • Roger Gould – Deputy Chairman
  • Anthony Gould
  • Chris Gould
  • Rebecca Murphy
  • Brian Tuson

In November 2015 Goulds were pleased to announce the acquisition of Fields of Sidmouth and Trinity House in Axminster.

By shopping at Goulds you’re supporting a long established, local family business that employs over 260 local people and makes a significant contribution to the local economy. In turn we support a number of other local businesses, suppliers, service providers, charities, organisations and schools that operate in your local community.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for choosing to shop with us. Your business is never, ever taken for granted, but is greatly valued and very much appreciated. In return for your custom we’ll strive to offer you the very best service and great value and our aim is to ensure that every customer is left completely satisfied following every interaction with our staff and during every visit to our store. We look forward to welcoming you to our department stores in the very near future.

Local Delivery Service

We offer a local delivery service from as little as £6 or free for orders over £100

Carry to Car

Need some help? We offer a free carry to car service

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Goulds Price Promise

We will price match if you find the item cheaper online or another garden centre

Gift Wrapping Service

We will price match if you find the item cheaper online or another garden centre