Family-run Axminster Tools celebrates 50 years of business

A family-run Axminster business is celebrating half-a-century of trading.

Axminster Tools was started by brothers Ian and Bernie Styles with their father when they opened a High Street shop 50 years ago.

Before long the business outgrew the premises and moved distribution and administration to a large warehouse on the outskirts of the East Devon town.

Today, 219 of Axminster Tools’ 267 employees work at the company HQ on the north side of Axminster.

Axminster Tools Founders Ian (second from left) and Bernie Styles (far right) and managing director Alan Styles (centre) at an exhibition.

Founders Ian (second from left) and Bernie Styles (far right) and managing director Alan Styles (centre) at an exhibition.

Axminster Tools The original shop in Chard Street.

The original shop in Chard Street.

A move to mail order has seen has been hailed as a huge factor in the company’s national and global success.

Its eight stores around the country ‘remain at the heart’ of the business – offering support and inspiration to woodworkers across the UK.

Managing director Alan Styles said: “As we celebrate our past, it’s important to look to the future.

“We do what we do to support a sustainable future for Axminster Tools, for the prosperity of our staff and the communities we support and engage with.

“My family taught us the value of hard work and never giving up on your goals.

“We too will work hard to live up to the high standards set over the past 50 years.

“When you work together anything is possible and together we will continue to grow our community; for the benefit of the whole Axminster Tools family.”

Woodworking remains at the heart of Axminster Tools.

Woodworking remains at the heart of the business.

The firm’s employees carry out a diverse range of roles, including skilled engineering posts at its Axminster-based, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

In recent years Axminster Tools has invested heavily in its future, manufacturing an increasing number of own-branded products on home soil – creating even more local jobs.

The business says ‘much has changed since 1972’ but its ‘roots remain firmly embedded in a passion for supporting the community and a sense of family belonging’.

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