1980 to 1985
Where it all started
Having earlier relocated his family from St Helens, Lancashire, Ray Sweeney (RS) resigns as a director of a Kent based paper mill to pursue opportunities as a self-employed sales agent for a Scandinavian tissue manufacturer. Ray is soon joined by son-in-law Chris Hayfield who also relocated, with his young family, from Buckinghamshire to Kent. Operating from a small office in the centre of Maidstone, the partnership acts as manufacturer’s agents for a number of companies specialising in tissue and polythene disposables.
1986 to 1990
RS Sales Services
Chris and Ray begin trading under the business name 'RS Sales Services'. This was the onset of industrial consumables distribution – delivering to the automotive/general catering/medical and retail sector. They purchase a small Industrial unit in Staplehurst, Kent with the company now employing secretarial staff and delivery drivers. The decision was taken to expand into national distribution and RS was awarded contracts with Major Oil companies for the exclusive supply of retail consumables and supplies.
1991 to 1995
Ray Sweeney Retires
Chris and Ray complete a deal to allow Ray to retire from the partnership and pursue a quieter life. Chris supported by wife Julia, who joined as a director in 1997, continue to grow the business and develop key partnerships with both customers and suppliers expanding into food-to-go packaging.
1996 to 2000
RS purchase land and construct a purpose-built distribution centre to increase stock capacity and, house an ever-growing team of dedicated staff.
2001 to 2005
RS Sales and Distribution Ltd.
RS Sales Incorporate and become RS Sales and Distribution Ltd. The company would go on to consolidate its position as a key supplier to the UK Fuel Retail sector.
2006 to 2010
The Next Phase of Growth
The UK convenince retail sector witnesses dramatic growth and RS establish key customer relationships with convenience retail symbol groups and independent grocery retailers. Chris and Julia are joined by son’s James and Mark who join the senior management team as Sales Director, and Business Development Manager respectively.
2011 to 2015
Record company turnover, team expansion and investment in a warehouse development project to increase capacity by 40% is necessary, whilst providing the opportunity to install market leading pick and pack facilities.
2016 to 2018
Celebrations and Forward Thinking
RS celebrates 15 years as an incorporated company and the board sets its sites on further growth with investment in the company infrastructure notably, working with a key partner in developing warehouse, ecommerce and inventory management systems. The RS leadership team launch 'The Hive', a staff engagement programme which focuses on ensuring the RS team are suitably supported to enable them to fulfil their career potential at RS.