The name Stewart Superior originates from the merging of two rubber stamp companies in the USA in the 1930s. RA Stewart and Superior Marking. They became one of the largest USA companies in marking devices.
In 1994 they decided to open a subsidiary in Europe along with Geoffrey Betts who up to then had been MD of a UK based rubber stamp business based in Bourne End Bucks called Evermark Ltd. Hence Stewart Superior Europe was born and is 27 years old this year.
Geoffrey said “The company began trading from a cow barn in Gerrards Cross, after one year moving to warehouse/ offices in Uxbridge where we remained until 2010 when we moved to Bourne End until moving to our current premises in Marlow in 2015″.
“The original plan was to sell the USA companies products in Europe but we quickly realised a far greater opportunity lay in supplying the very large resellers of office supplies such as Staples, Viking Direct and WH Smith a wide swathe of products, reducing their supplier base whilst we were at it”.
Our first home in Gerrards Cross and our offices in Uxbridge.
Early Days – Motivational Pictures.
Seco Popper Wallets– 100% Biodegradable 100% recycled material and recyclable.
Our snap frames.
Geoffrey is proud that the company’s entrepreneurial spirit soon found itself supplying health and safety signs, calculator ink rollers and motivational pictures to the market through these channels and by 1990 had reached £1,000,000 in turnover.
Today the company supply a large sector of the industry still with signs and have extended the overall product range to include clip boards, display products/point of sale, lighting and picture frames. In 2008 we found an additive that when added to polypropylene created a biodegradable material that when left outside would disintegrate in approximately 18 months.
We were delighted (ecstatic) to discover you could make plastic filing products using this and launched Seco filing as an environmentally friendly range of punched pockets, popper wallets and much more.
This was adopted by our entire customer base and also launched us full time into the export market. We began supplying the large resellers of office supplies all across Europe with Seco and our other products, for Geoffrey this was a game changing moment.
The trusted Stewart Superior network reaches throughout the UK, Europe and the USA and we pride ourselves on being the supplier of tomorrow.
We are always striving to be one step ahead by embracing change and creative thinking.
What makes us truly different is not just our friendly team and wide product breadth but that we are accountable to the people that matter the most – our customers.
Geoffrey and his team began looking at the USA as long ago as 2004 as a potential market. Stewart Superior were not in our channel now so we began knocking and knocking on doors from then on having the odd break until in 2016 we began working with a company who had great contacts at Amazon and Staples.
We had noticed that ‘snap frames’ were not prevalent in the USA and were able to launch our range with both these players and our business then began to grow substantially.
We now supply a number of the large players with a range of display products and have recently signed a contract with Staples retail for a large display in 178 of their stores.
In 2020 40% of our total business was going into Europe and obviously Brexit was potentially going to damage that. On December 4th, Geoffrey took the decision to open a warehouse and business in The Netherlands and we had 27 days to do it including Christmas. We are delighted to say we did this successfully and had our products being supplied to our customers efficiently and on time at the start of 2021. It has been extremely well received and doors continue to open for us as a result.
Over the years we have won a number of awards, including sales growth, brand awareness presented by our customers and in 2013 Geoffrey won the Outstanding Achievement Award for services to the industry at the annual awards evening.
Plans for the future
With the growth of online sales we are now heavily focused on this area. Geoffrey and his team work with a specialist company who handle Amazon sales for us and are seeing huge growth with them. 2021 has seen us receive our first orders from Amazon Germany, which is twice the size of the UK, supplied from our Dutch warehouse and we remain excited about the future. Next stop Africa!
The USA is a key market for us. We are talking to a number of larger potential customers who will create a real game change over there for us alongside growing our business with our existing customers.
And we should not forget the UK. We are a real survivor amongst an ever changing market place. By reinventing ourselves, introducing new products and offering keen pricing and excellent service we have made ourselves a valued partner to our customer both old and new.
Our display products are seen on the walls of many offices and retail establishments in this country and we have helped our customer win large contracts by working with them and their customers to provide solutions to many problems. Meanwhile Seco continues to grow.
Our Strategic partner
The company believes success comes by surrounding yourselves with good people. Sterling Grove sit on our right arm providing not only excellent financial support but highly valued counsel when required. If you want to be the best make sure you work with them.
Sterling Grove Accountants are delighted to have shared a successful journey with Geoffrey and his team for over for over a decade.