News of the Screws - No recession at Reisser in Hazel Grove

PUBLISHED: 14:13 06 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:52 20 February 2013

Charles Ledigo, MD at Reisser, Hazel Grove

Charles Ledigo, MD at Reisser, Hazel Grove

From small things grow mighty businesses. In these straitened times, a Hazel Grove company is going from strength to strength and it is screws that are at the heart of Reisser's success story WORDS BY RAY KING PHOTOGRAPHY JOHN COCKS

Its an ill economic wind that blows nobody any good.

House prices may be depressed and may stay that way for some time. But if that means fewer houses are being sold, it also indicates that many people are opting for renovation projects at their existing homes rather than moving.

At least thats one theory that explains the current buoyancy of Reisser, international distributor of a wide range of woodscrews, ancillary products and power tool accessories for joinery, construction, electrical and allied trades in the UK and increasingly in overseas markets.

Based at the companys purpose-built offices in Bramhall Moor Technology Park in Pepper Road, Hazel Grove, Stockport, Reissers managing director Charles Ledigo is very optimistic that the firm will not only ride out the current downturn but will be all the stronger after it. Established in 1981 the group - comprising Reisser and associated companies Reisser Ireland Ltd and Pak Pro Ltd remains on course to turn over 12m in 2012.

Reissers primary product, the R2 woodscrew made from hardened steel, boasts a very sharp point, sharp wide deep thread that easily penetrates timber without a pilot hole and provides exceptional grip. Variants are produced with ribs and tucks for self-countersinking. The screws are also yellow tropicalised, a process which gives approximately 20 times more rust resistance.

Ledigo, a former pupil at the then Chorlton Grammar School in Manchester first worked in sales for a timber company, later becoming sales agent for Reisser for ten years when it was a German-based company. When the firm went out of business, Ledigo took over the reins of its UK operation and successfully drove the business forward.

All our products are made to my own specification, said Ledigo, and we sell on quality. He owns 85 per cent of the company with the remainder shared by two other directors. He is very hands-on and regularly travels to Taiwan where he sources the Reissers screws, and to Germany, where many of the power tool accessories, such as specialised drill bits and saw blades are produced.

Reissers primary customers are leading kitchen suppliers like Howden and Magnet, major industry distributors like Toolstation, ironmongers, engineering wholesalers and independent builders merchants. Sales are exclusively to the wholesale trade there is no retail side to the business - here and in the Republic of Ireland, France and, just recently, Gibraltar and Malta.

We are very buoyant and expanding, which might sound unusual in the depths of a recession, says Ledigo. We have only been supplying builders merchants for about four years but our products have proved extremely popular and all the growth has come from there. They seem to be very busy right now supplying building firms engaged in renovating and extending property. We also think theres a new breed of people involved in DIY and they appreciate the high quality and reliability of our products.

There are 50 employees across the group including four regional sales managers: 15 are at the Pepper Road offices, opened in 1991, and the rest are located in southern Ireland and at the Pak Pro Ltd site in Whaley Bridge on the edge of the Peak District, where the companys transport and logistics functions are based.

We do all our own packaging, which has helped Reisser become a recognised reliable brand and carry large stocks for despatch from Whaley Bridge, said Ledigo, who lives in Wilmslow.

The companys profile within the industry has also been raised by its sponsorship of Supplier of the Year in the national Builders Merchants Awards and by signing up to a partnership scheme with the Rainy Day Trust, the charity which exists solely to help people who have worked in the UKs home improvement and home enhancement business: DIY shops, hardware stores, garden centres, cookshops and the manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers who supply them.



The print version of this article appeared in the January 2012 issue of Cheshire Life

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