Roys of Wroxham

About Roys

A family run business since 1895, Roys department stores are located across Norfolk & Suffolk, surrounded by East Anglia's scenic countryside and the Norfolk Broads. The company is based in Wroxham, where there are five Roys stores, the flagship department store, food hall, garden centre, DIY Centre and toy shop. Wroxham is known as the 'Capital of the Norfolk broads' and is a great family day out where you can take a walk along the river, watch the boats go by & feed the ducks. The rich farmland across Norfolk & Suffolk is also home to a great number of excellent food & drink producers and Roys is proud to stock over 1,000 local products from over 100 local suppliers. Roys knows that it owes its success to the ongoing support of its customers in the local community and regularly gives back by supporting local charities and good causes.

Questions Often Asked About Roys

When a company has over 100 years of unique history it can sometimes lead to interesting questions and some surprising answers. If you've got a question about Roys you can probably find the answer here!

There's actually a whole family of Roys! Roys is named after the surname of its founders Arnold & Alfred Roy rather than someone with the first name Roy.

Yes, Roys was founded by brothers Arnold & Alfred Roy and has been passed down the generations. Today the company is owned entirely by the Roy family and Alfred's grandchildren Ed & Paul Roy are directors of the company.

Many of Roys' stores are actually in Hoveton, not Wroxham and until 2011 the company didn't actually have a store in Wroxham at all. However, the company was still often referred to as Roys of Wroxham. The reason for this is because when brothers Arnold & Alfred Roy built their third store they bought a plot of land that, though technically being in the parish of Hoveton St John was actually on the outskirts of the village and just as close to the nearby village of Wroxham. The official boundary for these two villages was the river Bure and the newly opened railway station close by was called the Wroxham station despite also technically being on the wrong side of the river. The vast majority of the stock the brothers bought was delivered by train addressed to "Roy Brothers, LNER Station, Wroxham” and telegrams followed suit with a similar address.

During this time period it was also very fashionable for people to holiday at seaside towns in the summer and many stopped off at the Wroxham station to hire skippered sailing wherries. This activity became fashionable in its own right and the tradition of boating on the Norfolk Broads had begun. With many customers and suppliers alike referring to the store and village based off the station they used the name stuck.

Over the years the two villages expanded, mostly in the direction of the river due to the tourist trade and soon the boundary between the two villages became barely distinguishable. Roys also flourished over this time, particularly the Wroxham location which had expanded into many areas and even provided the villages street lighting and public lavatories. In 1931 the company moved its headquarters to Wroxham and Roys (Wroxham) Limited was formed.

There are currently 12 Roys stores, 5 of which are in Wroxham, and 7 more across Norfolk & Suffolk. Roys also owns the garden centre Highway garden & Leisure. You can find out more about our stores by using our Store locator.

Despite being heavily associated with Wroxham & Hoveton the first Roys store was opened in Coltishall in 1895. The second Roys store was in Dereham, and it was only the third which was in Wroxham, both opening in 1899, 4 years after the Coltishall store was opened.

At the end of the First World War Roys was operating a thriving horse and cart delivery service and when the war ended the company bought a fleet of ex Royal Mail Trojan delivery vans to expand the service. These vans were red and only the sign writing was changed. The delivery continued to flourish and expanded further when Roys bought the nearby Hunt's Bakery which supplied the Roys stores and had a large daily delivery round. For many customers the red delivery vans were their primary contact with the company and so red quickly became associated with Roys.

Early in the 1930's there was a widely publicised competition in which Roys won the accolade of "The World's largest Village Store". This may not actually be a world record but the title has never been challenged ever since.

We have solar panels on the roofs of 8 of our stores and have over 3,700 in total. You can find out more about how Roys is generating renewable energy on our Solar Power Page.

The exact number of local suppliers Roys uses varies slightly throughout the year depending on the seasonality of produce, however over the course of the year we currently use over 100 local suppliers, plus more regional suppliers from the rest of East Anglia. You can find out more about the local suppliers we use on our Local Supplier Page.

Well behaved dogs on leads are allowed in our Wroxham Garden Centre. Dogs & other pets are not allowed in our other Roys stores, other than registered assistance animals such as guide dogs.

Roys also owns Highway Garden & Leisure garden centre which welcomes well behaved dogs on leads throughout the site, except the restaurant & café. There is a dog-friendly seating area just outside the Highway café where you can enjoy a hot drink and a cake with your four-legged friend by your side.

Roys is an independent and family owned company that has been passed down through the generations. Roys is a member of the buying group Nisa, which buys products in bulk for it's 1,400+ members, helping Roys and other independent retailers to be competitive on price with larger chains. In 2018 the Co-operative acquired Nisa Retail and made its award-winning own-brand products available to Nisa members as part of the wholesale operation. All Co-op branded products sold in Roys stores raise money for Roys' Making A Difference Locally fund, which Roys then uses to donate money to local charities & good causes.

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