fast facts

Name of business:
REM UK Ltd

Finance Director:
Chris Blakey

Business description:
Manufacturers of furniture and equipment for the hairdressing and beauty industry

Location:
Nelson, Lancashire

Website:
www.rem.co.uk

Contact number:
01282 619977

REM, who manufacture furniture and equipment for the hairdressing and beauty industry from their factory in Nelson, are proud to be a great British success story. In fact they design, manufacture and distribute everything required for today’s hair and beauty salons.

Their factory employs around 100 people and specialises in upholstery for styling chairs and reception seating; timber for high quality reception counters, retail cabinets, and nail stations; assembly of beauty treatment beds, backwash units, barbers chairs and trolleys; and hood dryers, processors and steam units.

As well as manufacturing and distributing, REM also provide an advanced salon design service from inception, through to the actual installation of the furniture and equipment, within salons or hairdressing training colleges across the country.

Today’s women expect to be pampered and REM can provide an environment that replicates a luxury spa but at a price that’s affordable for high street salons. At the same time they do still cater for the more traditional salons with a new generation of hi-tech hood dryers. For men, REM can create the traditional barbers shop feel with its range of comfortable barbers chairs and styling points.

Like everybody else, REM face supply competition from China and the Far East. But REM FD Chris Blakey says: “Cheap is not necessarily good. Hairdressers soon come back to the REM brand when they realise the difference in the quality and our after sales care which is second to none.”


“The service I receive from Cassons and the team is excellent, and Peter makes me feel like I’m his only client.”

Chris Blakey, Finance Director, REM

Chris can see a dampening of consumer confidence and for this he blames 24-hour media. He says: “Some people are amazed we are still producing! But there is still a hairdresser on every high street, along with coffee and charity shops, and they all need to be fitted out!” Although there has been a slowdown in the economy Chris believes REM is largely recession-proof.

Europe is the main export market for REM salon equipment. The firm have distributors throughout the EC and are expanding further afield with a new venture in the Middle East.

Interestingly, Chris spent part of his early career as an audit senior at Cassons. Chris says: “I have great relations with Peter Johnson at Cassons. I have known him a long time, in fact since we used to work together. The service I receive from Cassons and the team is excellent, and Peter makes me feel like I’m his only client.”Chris continues: “We have been working with Cassons since 2008. It’s a very close relationship, in fact a relationship I treasure. I can pick up the phone without fear of the clock ticking away and the pound signs ticking away.”


“REM is a highly professional, well run company with a clear management structure and well run procedures. It’s very clear that they know their business and great to see them expanding into new areas of distribution. They’re an absolute delight to work with!”

Peter Johnson, Cassons

Chris is an enthusiastic participant in the Cassons FD Forum. He says: “It is invaluable. As an FD of a company in Nelson I listen to the news but I feel a certain isolation. The FD Forum gives me the opportunity to meet up with other like-minded people and to bounce ideas off them. It is also a great source of new contacts; people I can call between meetings for a chat.”

Cassons partner Peter Johnson says “REM is a highly professional, well run company with a clear management structure and well run procedures. It’s very clear that they know their business and great to see them expanding into new areas of distribution. They’re an absolute delight to work with!”Good management and a loyal workforce create a successful business. This is certainly true of REM. “We have a steady workforce. “Staff rarely leave”,’ notes Chris. He says REM have a core of staff who have been with the company well over 10 years.

The name REM has nothing to do with the American rock band. It is simply the initials of Robinson, Eccles and McMahon who formed the new company after a management buy out of Suter Equipment Ltd in 1994.

The rock band may have called it a day but REM in Nelson, are an upbeat company who fly the flag for Britain.

 

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