How It All Began
In 1975, Ken Yarker of ETD Tools Limited had the simple idea of
harnessing the purchasing power of the stocking independently
owned tool distributor. Such distributors were, and still are, the
backbone of our industry but constantly have to compete against the
'Multiples' and their purchasing power. Ken felt it was time we
With that simple idea Ken approached Gordon Salisbury of Fred
Males & Co Limited, Bristol, a leading independent tool
distributor, to sound him out on the idea. Gordon was immediately
positive and they agreed to push the idea forward.
Ken and Gordon then approached twelve distributors and arranged a
meeting to discuss the concept with them. The meeting took place at
the Three Horse Shoes Hotel, Rugby, hence the name - THS Tools
Group. The concept was discussed in detail and resulted with THS
Tools Limited being born, at that time with only four founding
At the latter end of 1975 THS had only five Suppliers and the
'formulative' years were tough with the first month's turnover of
real operation only £1,500. However, the problems of the early
years were overcome and as at September 1980, THS had a
distribution network of 39 Members and 50 Suppliers and figures
showed a 75% increase in turnover against 1979.
The Company Today
In March 2001, THS Headquarters relocated from Rugby to its
current premises based in Templeborough, Rotherham. Since the
relocation THS has continued to grow to become the UK's largest
buying group for independent distributors and the Group now has
over 100 Member companies, equalling over 140 distribution outlets,
and 180 plus 'Brand Leading' Suppliers.
THS has demonstrated year on year growth despite some
challenging economic conditions and continues to flourish with the
continual addition of world-leading suppliers and brands to its
extensive portfolio of products.
With THS, quality and assurance are guaranteed and their
commitment to provide the best quality systems and processes to
manage the relationships between Members and Suppliers is proven
with the LRQA ISO 9001 certification.