Electrical supplies
2016: No.14 - £440m
2015: No.12= - £450m

Established in 1951 with one outlet, the Mackie family’s City Electrical Factors Holdings now has customers around the world. The company’s attention to customer service has kept the Kenilworth company consistently profitable.

Thomas Mackie, an ex-GEC employee and former Royal Air Force radio operator, founded City Electrical Factors with just one outlet in Coventry. He began by selling electric cables and light fittings to local contractors. He died in January 2012, aged 89 and the company is now run by his grandson, Thomas, aged 27.

City Electrical Factors employs around 8,000 people worldwide. It has nearly 400 UK branches and the same number of overseas outlets including 360 in the United States.

In the 1960s CEF moved into Kenilworth to set up a head office on the site of a former cinema. In the early 1970s, the company began exporting. From there the empire was cultivated and grown by Thomas Mackie and his son Gerald and family to the size it is today – the UK’s leading electrical wholesale network with nearly twice as many outlets as its nearest competitor.

CEF has divisions in Telford, Redditch, Doncaster and Wrexham and overseas manufacturing facilities in France, Turkey, Tunisia and the USA producing a wide range of in-house electrical products. The group has more warehousing space than 30 football stadiums and around 5,000 delivery vehicles.

The company and its employees support local good causes. In November a group of CEF senior managers spent a night in a Birmingham car park as part of the St Basils Big Sleepout to raise funds for the homeless.

The company is represented in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Holland and Spain.

The Mackie family now lives in Switzerland.