Gas Superstore Cooks up 45 Years in Business
Gas Superstore, an iconic symbol of Leicester’s Hinckley Road, is celebrating after cooking up 45 years in business.
The electric goods retailer and family-run firm has clocked up the milestone after being opened by founder Ray Fenn (80) in 1969.
It has since become the city’s premier destination for home appliances, stocking household names such as Smeg, Bosch, Siemens and Zanussi, with an annual turnover of £12 million.
Paul Fenn, Managing Director, comments: “We are proud to have reached this milestone and to still be growing as a family-run business 45 years on. We now employ a team of 50 and have established Gas Superstore as a successful retailer, both in Leicester’s West End, Coalville and online, and continue to develop our product lines and customer base in order to further grow the business.”
Gas Superstore started life as a second hand retailer selling a range of domestic goods, including cookers, fridges and washing machines, which were reconditioned by former engineer Ray, who was 34 when he opened the shop.
After initially renting a corner shop for his business, Ray slowly purchased a number of units on Hinckley Road as the business grew, creating the now recognisable Gas Superstore showrooms.
Paul continues: “As our reputation and product lines grew, and we reached a turnover of £1 million, Ray took the decision to stop selling reconditioned goods in 1995. From this point on we focussed purely on the growing demand for new products, reaching a retail peak of £4 million in the early 2000s.”
In the late 1990s Gas Superstore became a member of electrical buying group consumer electronics retailer Euronics, a cooperative partnership made up of independent electrical retailers.
The Gas Superstore website was launched in 1998, after the company was taken over by Ray's two sons, Paul and Mark, who have increased the number of stocked product lines to 5,000.
Paul adds: “Ray did have reservations about us becoming an online retailer, especially as he had spent so many years building up our reputation in Leicester, but it has enabled the business to expand and take on new challenges. Our focus firmly remains on customer service and it is this that has helped us become such a popular online retailer.
“We are still committed to Leicestershire and earlier this year we opened a 30,000 sq ft warehouse and show room in Bardon, near Coalville, creating 20 new jobs and a sales increase of 37%. There aren’t many retailers in the city that have been established as long as we have or that are still expanding, so it’s fantastic for us to reach this point and to still be going strong.”