Rand Rocket History
Rand Rocket is at the forefront of the hair & beauty industry, but its roots lie in a very different market place.
Rand Rocket was formed in August 1973 by Randolph Vickers who, at that time, was National Sales Manager for Smith & Nephew. Rocket of London, a surgical equipment supply company, was looking to set up a consumer division, approached Randy and Rand Rocket was formed. Taking Rocket’s reusable glass & metal insulin syringes range as its base, he went on to build Rand Rocket into a retail personal care company, initially adding manicure and pedicure lines and by 1976 the division was strong enough to stand alone as Rand Rocket Ltd.
The product portfolio grew to include manufacturing emery boards and hair fashion articles as well as supplying bathcare, beauty brushes, personal grooming items and the like to the retail sector. The pharmacy roots were strengthened through additions of thermometers, disposable syringes, heat care packs and hot water bottles. The retail customer base was as varied as the product mix, encompassing blue chip companies like Boots, Superdrug, Lloyds, Unichem, JLP, Sainsbury, Tesco, to mail order, to sundries pharmacy wholesalers, to multiple retailers, to the Body Shop and others.
Alongside this Rand Rocket grew to be the brand leader of scissors to the professional hairdressing trade – for example, we were the first to bring ice tempered stainless steel scissors to the market place, the first to introduce satin finished scissors, are the only ones to offer micro-carbide steel – and successfully enhanced its dominant market position with the careful marketing of both premium and low cost hairbrushes, combs and sundry items into this key market sector, with its end-user customer, the professional stylist, being reached through the cash and carry customer base.
Our Managing Director, David Vickers, joined the Company in 1984, was appointed MD in 1994 and Chairman in 2002. This allowed for the release from day to day activities of his father Randy, who left active operational involvement in 1995, but is still very much involved behind the scenes with David in overseeing the Company’s performance and results.
Founded in Watford, the Company moved to Hitchin, Herts in 1982 and then in 1988, a year after our Founder bought out Rocket of London’s holding to make Rand Rocket a totally family owned, independent company, moved to Consett, Co Durham to take advantage of all that was on offer in this Regional Development Area and now operates from one, brand-new high tech building occupying 16,500 sq. ft. of warehouse, factory and office space.
From our Head Office location in the North East of England we service the whole of our customer base throughout Britain and Ireland as well as exporting to customers world-wide. We have two Sales Managers, Grant, covering the north and Vicki covering the south, who regularly visit each of our customers, augmented by David who covers Ireland. Our sales support staff at Head Office ensure the programming of production, new product development, all aspects of marketing and design and so on. Together the road and office based teams form a tightly knit unit delivering our customers’ needs and requests on time.
Our ethos has never changed – large company expertise with small company care. This enables us to handle the large multiple cash and carry chains to the smaller independent outlets to individual enquiries from stylists about product information and the like.
Rand Rocket has market place development and product innovation at its core and is constantly bringing new products and ideas to market to help our professional and retail consumers alike achieve more.