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Hughes Electrical acquires Armstrong

Hughes Electrical acquires Armstrong

February 2018

Hughes Electrical is set to become a leading player in the UK’s commercial laundry market after completing its acquisition of Newbury-based Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems for an undisclosed sum. The company also operates in Scotland, has an annual turnover of £6.5m and 45 employees.

Armstrong is a UK distributor for American company Alliance Laundry Systems, the worldwide producer of commercial laundry equipment. Armstrong has a significant ‘route operation’ with coin operated laundry machines in well over 100 locations, while its industrial arm supplies commercial laundries and there is also a thriving spare parts business.

Hughes own commercial arm, launched in 2012, serves the care, hospitality, tourism and educational sectors by supplying, installing, servicing and repairing a range of highly specialist washing machines and dryers from the Miele Professional range. It has branches in Norwich, Leicester and Rochester with 26 members of staff.

“We are delighted with the deal which we see as a merger of two likeminded, well established family businesses who share the same values,” said Hughes managing director, Robert Hughes.

“Armstrong was founded in 1878 and has remained in the hands of the Lowes family, while we were founded by Frank Hughes in 1921.”

Following the merger Armstrong will not only remain in Newbury and Glasgow but also increase in size. It will continue responsibility for distribution to dealers and route operations while absorbing Hughes’ commercial arm and staff members. Part of the business will be rebranded as Hughes Pro and look after the repair, servicing and product supply to customers.

Tom Lowes stays on the Armstrong board to be joined by Simon Quinlan from Hughes Commercial and Paul Chisnall from Hughes Trade.

“We could not have wished for a better partner than Hughes to help take Armstrong to the next stage of its development,” said Jeremy Lowes. “We share the unique values that come with a successfully run family business and can now look forward to the future with great confidence.”

“It is all a perfect fit for us as we look after the South East, Midlands and East Anglia while Armstrong services West London, along the M4 corridor to Wales, the South Coast and the area up to the Midlands and has a Glasgow based operation,” said Robert Hughes.

“Merging the two businesses will make us a very significant player in the commercial laundry market and operating in the majority of England and Scotland. We are all delighted that Tom Lowes has joined the new board and his experience will be invaluable as we take the combined businesses into a new, and very exciting, era.”

There are plans to open Hughes trade counters in the existing properties in Newbury and Glasgow to provide domestic equipment to local businesses and existing Armstrong customers.

Hughes Electrical sells, rents and services both domestic and commercial products to the public and businesses through 42 shops, six service centres and 14 trade counters as well as on-line and through its Smart Home operation. This business model means it is not reliant on any one type of customer meaning it has always remained profitable. It has around 1,000 employees and annual sales of £122m.

MERGER: Pictured are (from left to right) Paul Chisnall; Robert Hughes; Jeremy Lowes, previous managing director; Thomas Lowes and Simon Quinlan

What our clients say...

  • This is great news that the washing machine and dryer can be supplied and installed before Christmas, thank you for pulling out all of the stops!... Thank you again for sorting this out so speedily, it is very much appreciated.

    Natalie

  • Its seems all went well with the delivery yesterday, please pass my thanks on to all concerned.

    Gary Stewart

  • Our new washing machine is now installed and working very satisfactorily. We are delighted with it and domestic happiness and contentment are restored. I should add that all of your staff were immensely helpful and the whole exercise worked more smoothly than we could have ever imagined.

    Again, thank you very much for your help

    Guy Watkins

  • Thank you for that, we have had over 10 years now with your company, and as always your company has been superb and the service to me has been second to none.

    Alan

  • Thank you for supporting our business and being very thorough and organised

    Diana

  • Just a quick email to say a big thank you. To you, and all concerned, with regards to the work that you carried out for us at Primecare nursing home.

    I know it’s not often that we receive letters like this, so here’s one for you

    Stuart

  • Just a quick email to say thank you for your help and assistance with this short notice request for supply and install, which looked great today.

    We have another property about to be refurbished so we will be needing similar equipment again.

    Colin

  • Many, many thanks for this 1st class service as always.

    Richard

  • You supplied four gas dryers to a client some weeks ago, and you might like to know that he is delighted with the product. He is looking for 1,000 more of the tokens to suit the same machines.

    Richard

  • It’s a pleasure to work with you and I sincerely appreciate the time you spent to resolve some problems with patience… and your advice was very helpful. You have been a star. It was a pleasure to work with everyone at Armstrong and sincerely hope to continue our working relationship… Again, thank you so much for your help. I greatly appreciate the assistance you have provided me.

    Zia Masud

  • Many thanks… your whole company seem efficient and helpful! The delivery driver was also excellent… please pass on my appreciation to everyone!

    Geoff

  • Thank you. You’re a star as always.

    Mike

  • I just wanted to say thank you for sorting out the swap-over of the gas/electric dryer yesterday.

    All installed and our customer’s happy, so all good.

    Heidi

  • Please can you pass on my thanks to all concerned in this order, it was an absolutely painless exercise for me, and the machine was in great condition.

    Gary Stewart

  • Brilliant. Thank you very much. I really appreciate you arranging an earlier collection date

    Emily

  • Many thanks for your kind assistance on a job well done.

    Mick

  • That is all perfect. I am so impressed by the efficiency and friendliness of your company, as are friends and plumbers various! Thank you.

    Jasmine

  • It seems all went well with the delivery yesterday, please pass my thanks on to all concerned

    Gary

  • The team are stars! Thank you so much.

    Christine

  • Thank you for getting right on top of that for us. That’s brilliant!

    Ian

  • It was a pleasure working with you on this

    Alison

  • Thank you and your team for your prompt response and arranging delivery and installation for a new machine today.

    The tenants are very grateful.

    Helen

  • Thank you very much and you are just too good to us. Best wishes to you and everyone.

    Phil

  • Following my recent telephone conversation, I would like to put on record my thanks for the service I have received, and the professional follow up from these transactions.

    Namely the help and courtesy extended by your delivery driver. I did make a point this time to driver over and thank him personally. Contrast his attitude to that of a driver from rival company that on three occasions prompted my customer to complain to me.

    You can understand that as a sole trader having one thing less to deal with on a machine sale is considerable help, I have forwarded a complaint to the other company, they claim it is beyond their control, which baffles me.

    Than you all at Armstrong’s for your professional help even when I get your names wrong.

    Gary

  • I just wanted to thank you for all your help sorting out the Huebsch washer & dryer. We returned home on Friday to the sight of a shiny new machine that works

    Johny

  • A BIG thank you for the tokens – so appreciated

  • You were excellent at this meeting. Armstrong roots family values at their very best, striking a chord with Greek Cypriot management that pride themselves on the same ideals.

    Mike

  • Oh my goodness, what an absolute pleasure to deal with someone like yourself. You have been so incredibly helpful.

    Sara

  • I  am extremely happy with both the equipment and the service support, the machines are really tough and reliable.

    Ted Sugrue

  • We are very happy with the machinery and the service from Armstrong

    Geoffrey Hawkins

  • Armstrong has always been good. The equipment works hard and long hours and we very rarely have a problem – and if we do Armstrong’s service team are fast and efficient ensuring we’re able to operate the laundry at full capacity again very quickly. The fixed price hire scheme helps us to budget and ensures we don’t have a big initial outlay or any sudden nasty financial surprises if a machine does break down or needs replacing.

    Kris Clark

  • We have had very few problems with the Armstrong equipment, but if anything does happen they come out very quickly and get it working again. The equipment is very tough and reliable, and the service we get from Armstrong is brilliant.

    Anita Bassett

  • I’m thrilled with the new dryer. It makes such a difference to the job of handling all the laundry.

    Rose Vyvyan-Robinson

  • I am very pleased with the machine, it is reliable and easy to use and does exactly the job we want it to. A very good buy!

    Mark Brown

  • The equipment is robust and reliable – even after many years of service”. If we do have a problem with a machine the engineers come out within 24 hours to get it up and running again, and there’s always good advice when we need to expand or replace a machine.

    Paul Freeman

  • I have an excellent relationship with Armstrong – they’re friendly and helpful and definitely have the best dryers on the market

    Tony Duckworth

  • The launderette is in constant use with the laundry we generate and the members of the public who use it. We have been very pleased with the equipment and the service we have had from Armstrong and overall the unit is a very valuable part of our very popular and busy site.

    Sarah Matson

  • We are very pleased with the equipment, with the larger capacity machine taking such a big load we have been able to reduce the number of washes we do from three to two each day which saves time, energy and is more cost effective.

    Jo Palmer

  • The dryers are very good and I am very happy with the relationship with Armstrong.

    Hardey Roopra

  • Our previous dryers were really excellent, so when the dryers in my new launderette needed replacing I had no hesitation in going back to Armstrong.

    Brian Dunton

  • Altogether I think Armstrong have been one of our best suppliers. They really seem to know what they are talking about and the equipment has been totally trouble free since it was installed.

    Neil Baker

  • The new dryers are brilliant. The customers love them, and even with an extra dryer I am delighted to find that my gas bills have gone down since they came in. And my revenue has increased as well, so altogether they have been a very good investment.

    Phil Brownsey

  • The fixed price hire scheme is excellent for us. It means that we know exactly what our outlay on laundry is each month, and we know there aren’t going to be any nasty surprises if we do have a machine breakdown – all the labour and parts are covered in the monthly payment. But the equipment has been fantastic so far, so we haven’t had to worry about that anyway.

    Sharon Gilchrist

  • We are very pleased with the new machines – the residents find them easy to use and the wash quality is very good.

    Abu Latif

  • We’re delighted with the new dryer. We pride ourselves on a very personal level of care here, keeping up with the laundry and it all coming out looking good is an important aspect of this care and this machine has been excellent since it was installed.

    Marilyn Collins

  • As before I am delighted with the dryers, they are really efficient and reliable and the customers find them very easy to use.

    Shaid Aziz

  • That’s the thing with Armstrong, if you ask for service you get it – quickly. We know we can rely on them which is really important as the speed and quality of the laundry is vital to the hotel.

    James Suter

  • The machines are kept very busy, work well and have been very reliable.

    Fr Oliver

  • On average the equipment is working 14 hours a day throughout the week. The new dryers are brilliant, easy to use, efficient and reliable!

    Wendy Clayton

  • Our relationship with Armstrong goes back a long way, and they continue to give us excellent service and extremely reliable equipment.

    Suzy Brandwood

  • It’s important to get the right equipment for the job, too small and it won’t do it properly, too big and you are wasting money, energy and space. It is also important to deal with a company you trust to supply reliable equipment and give you the support you need. As expected, the installation went smoothly, we have never had the slightest problem and I know Armstrong will deal with it if we do.

    Colin Farquharson

  • Our machines have come from several suppliers – there is a big difference in the standards of support we receive and Armstrong gets 10 out of 10 – their service has been consistently excellent over several years and when you’re as busy as we are, that’s very important.

    Jacqui Butler