Pragma’s Story

An emphasis on evaluating business issues from both a hard and soft viewpoint has always been at the heart of Pragma’s philosophy, and remains so to this day. This underpins Pragma’s unique ability to provide a more holistic evaluation of commercial challenges and opportunities.

Pragma began on 4th January 1988 in a single upstairs room at 34 York Street, Twickenham, Middlesex, with no clients or projects, but merely a box of 1,000 paperclips, one landline phone and a list of phone numbers.

The name Pragma comes from the Classical Greek, in which it means: action, deed or fact, and is, of course, the root of the word pragmatic. The name has strongly influenced Pragma’s values over the past quarter century in that the company has always striven to deliver work which is strongly grounded in fact and ensured that all recommendations are practical and actionable.

It was founded by Roy Palmer and Monica Lucas who believed that by combining their respective skills and experience it would be possible to create a better consultancy solution for clients in customer-facing markets.

Patrick Woodall joined Pragma in 2007 as Chief Executive, bringing his vast retail experience to Pragma. In 2011 Pragma was acquired by St Ives PLC and in 2013 Pragma moved from Twickenham to offices in Blackfriars, central London. In 2014 Roy and Monica retired from the business. In 2015 Patrick became Chairman and Tom Holt became CEO.

In the summer of 2015 Pragma and St Ives announced the acquisition of FSP, a leading retail property consultancy. Pragma and FSP now work closely together to provide a broad range of strategic retail consultancy services for their combined client base, while retaining their distinct strong identities and independent expert viewpoints.