RS Group plc

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RS Group plc
Company typePublic
Founded1937; 87 years ago (1937)
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Key people
RevenueIncrease £2,982.3 million (2023)[1]
Increase £383.0 million (2023)[1]
Increase £284.8 million (2023)[1]
Number of employees
7,818 (2023)[1]

RS Group plc (formerly Electrocomponents plc) is a distributor of industrial and electrical products based in London, England. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.


Trade counter in Corby

The company was founded by J.H. Waring and P.M. Sebestyen as Radiospares in a lock-up garage at Lanark Villas in Maida Vale in London in 1937.[2] It supplied radio repair shops with spare parts – replacement electronic components and mechanical components for radio receivers and transmitters.[2]

When television sets became popular, the company added television parts to their product list. As the company expanded it moved to Birchington Road in Kilburn. By the end of the Second World War, the company had evolved into a large national distribution company. In 1954, the founders of Radiospares expanded the company's focus from shops and home users to the industrial sector and began selling electronic components to manufacturers.[2]

The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange as Electrocomponents in 1967.[2] It also operated from Fitzroy House in Epworth Street in Islington during the 1970s.[3]

It opened a distribution centre at Corby in Northamptonshire in 1984, introduced a CD-ROM catalogue and opened a distribution centre in Nuneaton in Warwickshire in 1995, launched its own E-commerce web site in 1998 and acquired Allied Electronics, a US-based distributor, in 1999.[2]

In 2010, its two main operating companies, RS Components and Allied Electronics, launched free-to-use PCB layout software, DesignSpark PCB.[4] Then in 2012, RS Components and Allied Electronics became two of the main manufacturers and distributors for the Raspberry Pi.[5][6][7] It acquired a UK-based provider of outsourcing services, IESA, in May 2018.[8]

In March 2022, Electrocomponents plc announced that it would change its name to RS Group plc in early May 2022.[9] Allied Electronics was brought under RS brand as RS Americas, Inc in 2023.[10]


RS Group plc is an omni-channel provider of products and services for designers, builders and maintainers of industrial equipment and operations, serving over 1 million customers in more than 80 countries.[11] The company distributes over 600,000 products, including electronic components, electrical, automation and control, and test and measurement equipment, and engineering tools and consumables, sourced from 2,500 suppliers.[11] The company trades under the brands:

  • RS - operations across the world[12]
  • RS Americas, Inc (formerly Allied Electronics) - operations in North America[13]
  • OKdo - Global tech company focused on SBC and IoT, serving hobbyists, entrepreneurs, industrial designers and resellers[14]


  • 2017 - Electrocomponents won Turnaround of the Year Award at the PLC Awards 2016[15]
  • 2014 - Electrocomponents was named UKTI Digital Business of the Year at the 2014 National Business Awards[16]
  • 2012 - Electrocomponents was presented the Queen's Award for Enterprise for continuous achievement in international trade[17]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report and Accounts 2023" (PDF). RS Group. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e Walko, John (12 November 2012). "A catalogue of success: How RS Components has grown to become a global distribution power". New Electronics. p. 20. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Science at Work: Teachers' Guide to Domestic Electricity" (PDF). Addison-Wesley Publishers. 1979. p. 3.
  4. ^ Maxfield, Clive "Max" (13 September 2013). "Allied Who? RS Who? DesignSpark What?". EE Times. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  5. ^ Parrish, Kevin (18 April 2013). "Raspberry Pi Now Shipping From RS Components, Allied". Toms Hardware. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  6. ^ Say, Mark (4 August 2013). "RS Components launches Raspberry Pi bundles". TechRadar. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  7. ^ Morrison, Graham (6 August 2013). "'It would be fatal if we were still shipping the same Raspberry Pi in 2016'". Linux Format Issue 173. TechRadar. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Electrocomponents agrees to acquire IESA to extend value added services for corporate customers". Components in Electronics. 24 May 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2024.
  9. ^ "Electrocomponents to become RS Group; expects high margins". Morning Star. 30 March 2022. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  10. ^ "Name Change Signals New Strategy for Allied Electronics & Automation". Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  11. ^ a b "Investor centre". Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  12. ^ "RS Components Scoop Top UK Award for Online Investment". National Business Awards. Archived from the original on 19 December 2003. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Hitaltech announce distribution agreement with Allied Electronics". Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Homepage". Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Winners - PLC Awards 2016". Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Winners of the National Business Awards 2014". Archived from the original on 21 June 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  17. ^ "2012 Winners - The Queen's Awards For Enterprise Magazine". Archived from the original on 15 January 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2015.