RS Components is celebrating 75 years in business. From humble beginnings in a small London garage in 1937, RS has grown into a successful multinational organisation by retaining its focus on high service level customer support while evolving into a multi-channel business with eCommerce at its heart.

Over the last 75 years, RS has transformed itself from a UK company into a global business. With direct operations in 30 countries and distributors in a further 37 markets, RS is the number one high service distributor across Europe and the Asia Pacific region. The company’s 16 distribution centres located worldwide enable it to provide high service levels to over one million customers.

The company’s success is a direct result of its ability to embrace change, adapting to the needs of the market and its customers. Together with its broad product range of more than 550,000 products, eCommerce has become a major driver of the company’s growth, allowing it to have a long-term, multi-channel relationship with its customers. Recently, RS has transformed its customers’ online experience with the introduction of eProcurement systems, a Live Chat service in 12 markets, electronics design tools and one of the most advanced transactional websites in the distribution sector.

Originally known as Radiospares, the business rebranded as RS Components in 1971. Key milestones in its history include a number of industry firsts:

  • First electronics and maintenance distributor to have an own label range (1937)
  • First to offer free next day delivery (1937)
  • First catalogue distributor to introduce a CD Rom version (1995)
  • First to launch a transactional website (1998)
  • First to launch free-to-access PCB schematic tool, DesignSpark PCB (2010)
  • First to launch an iPad version of its customer magazine, eTech (2011)

Ian Mason, Group Chief Executive at Electrocomponents, commented: “Our significant growth over the last 75 years is testament to our focus on providing a service second to none to our customers, which is thanks to the dedication and hard work of our employees. Commitment to innovation has been a key driver of this growth, resulting in award-winning eCommerce initiatives that enable us to compete successfully in this digital age.”

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