Established in 1919 in Lancashire, Harrisons Direct has a reputation for being specialists in wholesale distribution. Specialising in a large range of wholesale products including confectionery, health and beauty and stationery we supply popular wholesale brands to companies across the UK. A lot has changed over the years so we invite you to take a look at our proud heritage and learn more about the Harrisons Direct story.
A young Hilda Coupe founded our firm with virtually no resources whatever – save for determination. From her parents tiny ‘front room’ in Manchester Road, Accrington which Hilda uses as a warehouse for her stock of smallwares having already established connections with shops/market traders in the local area.
As trade develops, Hilda's father, Moses Coupe, joins her in running the business on a daily basis and the business moves into the back room at No. 2 Manchester Road, Accrington – more recently recognisable as the town's Police Station.
The business secures a vehicle but during the demonstration drive the vehicle overturns and Moses sustains head injuries leaving his memory permanently impaired and unable to continue in the business. Another passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident was a young gentleman called Albert Harrison. Albert, aged 22, asked Hilda if she needed his help to keep the business going now that her father was incapacitated – which Hilda accepts.
Hilda & Albert were married and a year later there was a new arrival on the scene when Cyril Coupe Harrison was born. Albert purchases the business outright from Hilda and it becomes known as Albert Harrison trading as M Coupe. Albert’s brother Richard joins the business and is often left in charge of the business when Albert is ‘out on the road.’
Very bravely for a tiny firm, Albert & Richard venture to Hamburg with the intention of buying toys directly from Germany. Sadly, the bold move into importing was to put the business in peril, for the government, without warning, imposes a hefty import tariff on German products whilst the vessel is on the ‘high seas.’ Albert says nothing of his commercial worries to anyone and works hard to avert bankruptcy. The late 1930’s saw Europe drawing relentlessly towards war and the business once again hangs by a thread. Richard was soon to be left with just a very small number of female staff as men were mobilised to serve their country. Turnover plummets as supplies are scarce and there is the added complication of clothes, soap & petrol rationing.
The business is incorporated as Albert Harrison & Co Ltd.
As the war ends, Albert returns to the business from the RAF. It is to Richard’s and Hilda’s credit that the company survives to a time where it is destined to blossom. Albert persuades his son Cyril and son-in-law Alan Cookson to join the business, giving up their careers in the accountancy and banking professions. As more staff return from the armed forces the business quickly begins to expand and cover a wider area. In the period after the war, the business expands its portfolio of products to include patent medicines, toiletries, stationery, toys and hosiery. Alan Cookson becomes the medicines buyer and Company Secretary whilst Cyril Harrison is designated Toy Buyer
The business moves into larger premises on Union Street, Accrington.
The number of Sales Representatives peaks at 17. Richard’s son, Gerald, joins the company from school along with his mother, Marguerite. With the dramatic expansion of supermarket trading, this leads to a reduction in the number of smaller, independent retailers. The business changes direction as it turns its attention to servicing nationwide accounts. This development, largely through the efforts of Gerald, brought accommodation at Union Street to crisis point.
The business re-locates to Queen Mill, Queens Road, Accrington, a 22,000 sq ft level floor warehouse.
The “3 day week” occasioned by industrial action with the restriction of power supplies throws businesses into disorder however the prompt installation of generators allows Harrison’s operation to continue without interruption. Cyril Harrison forms the buying group, “Fanfare” along with 15 fellow wholesalers.
A BCL Molecular computer is installed and is the company’s biggest investment since the purchase of Queen Mill.
Cyril Harrison retires from the day-to-day running of the business and is made Chairman.
Tech should always be two things: stylish and functional. Our wholesale Juice products are exactly that! Juice is a Gusto brand and started off in 2012. Their aim was simple – to make top-notch electronic accessories that look super snazzy. Since then, they’ve expanded their range of products and now offer products that protect, charge and complement devices.
The great thing about the Juice brand is they care about the environment too. All their products are made in responsibly managed factories and brought in by sea rather than airfreight. It takes them longer to get their stuff this way, but it produces around ten times less C02 than a flight would. Juice products stand out from the crowd and don’t cost the earth. We love their stuff and we reckon your customers will too.
Think cable chargers are dull? Think again! We have a seriously cool charger than we want to shout about. Your customers can stay connected and keep their products well charged without needing a million chargers to do the job. Our
So there we have it – top tech at affordable prices. If you’d like more information on our range of Juice products then feel free to give our friendly customer care team a call on 01254 306840.