Bonningtons celebrates 50th anniversary

This year marks 50 years of trading for Nottingham-based importer and distributor Bonningtons.

The company was founded in 1967 by Paul Fisher who had “nothing more than £200 cash and a telephone”. Its first premises was an old bakehouse (pictured below) in the village of Sutton Bonnington, Leicestershire, and the first items Mr Fisher bought and sold were hosepipe and rubber sheeting. The business grew over the years, moving into larger premises where it could manufacture its own products and, by 1979 Bonningtons was manufacturing 80% of the total products supplied. As Mr Fisher continued to grow the company, he began exhibiting at the NEC, Birmingham and managed to break into the European market. In 2001 Mr Fisher’s son, Ian, joined the business and began importing products from China under the brand name Kingfisher. He quickly identified which products would sell best, and expanded the range to include garden tools and watering products, garden sundries and accessories, solar lighting, greenhouses and garden games resulting in a rapid increase in turnover. Six years later, the need to address the seasonality of the business lead to the acquisition of a catering disposables company and the birth of Kingfisher Catering. Soon new ranges of heating, housewares and bird care were introduced too.

Managing director Ian Fisher

The firm now supplies gardening, home and leisure goods to a broad spectrum of businesses, from high street retail chains, garden centre groups and independents, right through to cash and carry wholesalers, large internet retailers and trade professionals.

In 2016 Bonningtons was named one of the UK’s fasting growing SME’s and, in 2017, was listed in the London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain. Sales director Sergio Tartaglia, said: “Bonningtons has achieved a great deal in 50 years, and continues to innovate and grow in a difficult climate.”

The company recently

rebranded and launched new brands and 1,000 new products at Glee last year. The repositioning has enabled Bonningtons to develop new sales channels, said the company. Managing director Ian Fisher explained: “We have achieved year-on- year growth by identifying great products. The next stage in our development was to provide more quality brands and develop new customer channels. The rebrand enabled us to develop new products that complement the existing Kingfisher ranges, and to build trade relationships with new customers and markets that were previously inaccessible.” To mark the 50-year milestone in the company’s history, Bonningtons is hosting an anniversary open event at its head office in September.


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