The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100, a 32 page report was published Dec 6th with the newspaper, ranks the fastest-growing unquoted companies according to their compound annual sales growth between 1994 and 1997. DCS Europe plc (formerly called DCS Commodities) are ranked No. 36 in the top 100. Furthermore DCS ranks as high as 10th in the "total sales rankings" and is 5th in the list of distributors! This is amongst very strong competition from other large UK companies such as Carphone warehouse and Software warehouse.
After spending 22 years in India and Kenya managing tea plantations, Peter Shortt returned to Warwickshire in 1975 and founded a groceries wholesaler. Formerly known as Shakespeare Products, his DCS Commodities has evolved into a toiletries distributor.
His son, Denys, a former international hockey player, is its chief executive. Shortt Sr’s other three sons manage different areas of the business.The company originally distributed groceries to neighborhood supermarkets but soon recognised that small shops were rapidly being replaced by superstores. Changing tack, DCS started an export division called Export Brands International. Today it delivers toiletries to 53 countries all over the world.
Sales have grown from £5.2m in 1994 to £36m in 1997. Denys Shortt attributes the company’s success to its investment in technology. For example DCS uses plasma screens, EDI, and has three web sites on the internet.The future looks bright for DCS—recently they have launched their own brand of hair care products called Enliven. In just three months they have already sold a quarter of a million bottles of shampoo to ten countries. Denys Shortt says "Sales have been much better than expected and we now plan to expand the Enliven range. We think we are onto a winner!"
DCS have also recently won a £10 million contract to deliver to 27 Makro depots throughout the country and will soon start a £2 million contract in delivering the Lifestyle brand to 57 Landmark Cash & Carries.
The future looks bright for DCS Europe plc.