In 1951, Tom Mackie left his comfortable job as a salesman at the GEC to buy an almost bankrupt wholesaler trading out of a horse stable in Coventry, England. With the support of Tom’s loving wife, Georgina, who wholeheartedly supported his decision, the Mackie family combined their savings for a total of ₤300 and confidently purchased City Electrical Factors (CEF).
Tom’s father thought it was an unwise purchase and advised him to forget the business, but by the close of its first year, CEF saw considerable trade expansion and was able to purchase its first company car. Over the next 30 years, CEF grew exponentially in the U.K. and soon opened its first North American branch as City Electric Supply in 1983. Since then, City Electric Supply has seen long periods of growth and expansion. CES is currently operating over 570 branches in North America alone.
The original company store is recreated here at CES headquarters in 400 Record. Tom’s first desk was an old door supported by two tea chests and two columns of red house bricks for extra height. From the wood on the walls to hay in the ceiling, CES is constantly reminded of its roots.