After a couple of recent visits to Paul Stride in York I have decided to give them the life-changing accolade of being one of my featured stores!
There were a few things we have needed this month as well as a bit of advice on a couple of future purchases and I found the advice and service to be absolutely top notch in this store.
Based on the outskirts of York, almost in the shade of a recently opened John Lewis store, Paul Stride has been offering proper and suitable nursery product advice to parents of York and the surrounding area since the late 1990s. It began life previous to that as a department store on the other side of York and sold shoes and clothes among other things before eventually becoming solely focussed on nursery.
The great service and wealth of advice offered by the team in store appears to be a draw for parents in the area – I counted over 25 people in the store on my recent Saturday afternoon visit, compared with only 4 browsing the John Lewis nursery area when I wandered over there for a headcount comparison. I am never going to knock John Lewis, but I will always favour the independent nursery stores over any major chain, especially when they have been helping parents out over many years and decades – there is a level of tacit knowledge in the independents that you just don’t get in a major chain.
When I went in through the door last time I was greeted by the sight of the owner on his hands and knees with his toolbox by his side actually fixing what looked like a wheel problem with a customer’s pushchair. There’s another difference – take a faulty pushchair back to a major chain and it will be sent off to the supplier and you might be without it for a couple of weeks. Buy from somewhere such as here and you may have it sorted out in a few minutes and be back on the road if it is a minor or common fault.
When I left the store there was a member of staff in the car park with 3 different car seats chatting to a family and showing them how they all work in their own car, and it’s just all part of their normal service. Anyway, you get the picture…I favour the independents…and shame on anyone who gets that type of demonstration, knowledge-sharing and time and then disappears to try and save £10 by buying it online somewhere else (but don’t get me started on that)!
The store is really well organised with a small area for accessories when you first walk in that then opens out into a large room dedicated to pushchairs and car seats, and it’s a real haven for wheeled goods geeks such as myself.
The owners appear to have a keen eye for great products and brands, although I say that because they stocked most of my favourite products that I have encountered so far, including the Nomi Highchair. I also spotted other Dadness faves such as Bababing and the Ubbi Diaper Pail.
Upstairs on a very cool mezzanine floor it’s all about the nursery itself, with a great selection of nursery furniture from beautiful brands such as Boori and Babystyle, as well as lots of choices for bedding and sleepwear.
Paul Stride in York is supported by a really nice website that makes online shopping a simple experience, but if you live in, or are visiting, the York area then a trip to the store is really worth the effort if you are in the market for some new baby products. It really is a destination shop and from my experiences here you will only be sold something you need, rather than something a shop wants to get rid off.
Great staff, lovely browsing experience, oodles of product and parenting knowledge…it all adds up to a big Dadness thumbs up 🙂