The Group Gear Story
Cornbow Office Products, formerly Apricot Office Products, part of Apricot Computers PLC was formed following a management buy-out. The Company primarily supplied consumable products; printer ribbons, disks, toner cartridges.
Malcolm Dudley and Simon Tea acquire the Company following the retirement of the major shareholder Terry Lloyd. The Company changes its name to Cornbow limited as the Company starts to diversify away from its traditional office product range into more technical products. The word Cornbow being historically one of the old mills owned by the Abbot of Hales in 1293.
Cornbow purchases its first container from the Far East, and so begins the Company’s long association with the Far East.
The Company launches its range of Rhino Computer Gear cables.
The Company rebrand its Rhino Computer Cables to Computer Gear in-order-to include its ever-expanding range of mice, keyboards and computer accessories.
The Company outgrows its 1,500 sq. ft facility based at the Zion Christian Centre in Halesowen and move into a purpose built 8000 sq. ft office and warehouse facility.
Within 12 months the Company outgrows its facility once again and expands by investing in new mezzanine flooring to provide an additional 4200 sq. ft of space.
The Company expands even further acquiring the whole of the Antler Buildings site (3 units) totaling 26,000 sq. ft, from where the Company is still based and distributes its products.
The Company changes its name to Cornbow Computer Gear in-order-to encompass the Computer Gear brand.
The Company launches its 1st technology retail store in Worcester under the Technology Factory.
The Company launches its 2nd technology retail store in Stourbridge.
The Company is forced to close its technology stores owing to the pressures of the economic market and the decline of retail on the high street and the escalation of internet presence.
The Company changes its name to Computer Gear to protect its ever-growing distribution business and corporate identity.
The Company launches its new website with its “Live Feed System” allowing customers instant access to the Company’s full product range and livestock system. A service the Company has continued to develop and enhance.
The Company undergoes a significant change and renames itself to groupgear, appointing John Caswell and Lea Young as shareholders for their outstanding contribution to the Company’s progressive development and growth. Along with the original two directors, this now remains the management team to-date. The groupgear name providing a more strategic platform under which to promote the Company’s diversifying brands in an ever-changing market sector.
The Company introduces its connektgear range.
The Company launches its first USB faceplate with great success following it being featured on the Daily Mail homepage.
The Company launches its first generation of WiFiconnekt product.
The Company opens its first overseas office based in Hong Kong to support localised sourcing and sets up its own development team, overseeing the production of the WiFiconnekt product range.
groupgear re-brands all its cables and accessory products under the connektgear brand, phasing out its Computer Gear brand as market influences dictate the need for change and hopefully one that will stand the test the of time. It will also release its next generation of smart WiFiconnekt products.
Malcolm Dudley retires and Lea Young and John Caswell are promoted to Directors