|UK, Europe, Asia|
RS Components is the UK, European and Asia Pacific trading brand of Electrocomponents plc. The company supplies electrical and electronic components, tools, testing equipment and related items through the internet, catalogues and at trade counters. Electrocomponents is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2016 had revenues of £1.29bn.
|1937||Founded as "Radiospares"|
|1954||Re-focused on industrial sector|
|1971||Re-branded as "RS Components"|
|1984||Corby distribution centre opened|
|1995||CD-ROM catalogue introduced|
|1997||Nuneaton distribution centre opened|
|1998||E-commerce web site launched|
RS Components was founded by J.H. Waring and P.M. Sebestyen in 1937 in London under the name Radiospares supplying radio repair shops with spare parts. When televisions became popular, television parts were added to Radiospares' product list. By the end of World War II, 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. The company rebranded as RS Components in 1971.
RS now has operating companies in 32 countries, including France, Italy and Germany, with operations as far afield as Chile, New Zealand and China.
RS Components is part of the Electrocomponents group, which trades as RS except in North America where it trades as Allied Electronics. The group distributes more than 500,000 products, including electronics, automation and control, test and measurement, electrical and mechanical components, to over one million customers.
Electrocomponents has operations in 32 countries. The company uses a variety of channels to market including selling via eCommerce, catalogues and trade counters. The group has 16 distribution centres across the world.
In 2003, RS Components was awarded 'E-Business Strategy of the Year' by the UK National Business Awards. In 2011, the company was named 'Distributor of the Year' and 'Company of the Year' at the 2011 Elektra European Electronics Industry awards.
In 2013, both RS and Allied became one of the main manufacturers and distributors for the Raspberry Pi. The company provides a free-to-use PCB layout tool, DesignSpark PCB. RS also lost an important manager in 2016 as high-ranked Alex Tsui, head of Asia Pacific moved to PEI Genesis as Director of Asia. It was followed by many other departures.
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