Our History - J. A. Russell Ltd
A Long Proud History in NZ
From left: Jack Spooner, Albert Hopkins and
The business was founded in 1951 by three friends Jack Spooner, Albert Hopkins and Russell Williamson. They combined their first names into J. A. Russell Ltd.
Jack, Albert and Russell saw an opportunity to take up a cable agency and to start a new style of electrical wholesale business.
They began with an old house in Grafton Road, Auckland as their warehouse and office.
A high level of personal service to customers resulted in spectacular growth and the motto – still used in the business today – was born : The House for Top Service.
In the late 1960s the business came under the control of Jack Spooner and his wife June. Jack was joined in the company by his son Roger (in 1965) who, after gaining a grounding in virtually every aspect of the business assumed the role of Managing Director.
Roger’s brother John Spooner joined the business in 1977 and today the company is jointly owned between the Family Trusts of Roger Spooner and John Spooner. Roger and John still work in the business as do other family members really creating a good kiwi owned and operated family business.
J. A. Russell Ltd's first invoice
During the 1990s, with Roger Spooner and John Spooner at the helm, J. A. Russell embarked on a new phase of expansion acquiring branches in Waikato and Northland, and then a network in the Bay of Plenty.
In 2002, Craig Grammer was appointed to CEO. Subsequently J. A. Russell took the opportunity to acquire the business of Christchurch based Radcliffe Electrical, which provided an 18 branch network coverage in the South Island. Radcliffe Electrical was a strong, well established brand in the South Island and we continue to use the Radcliffe Electrical name, yet we operate as one business.
Today we have 68 branches and we’ve been in business for over 62 years. We are the largest New Zealand owned, electrical wholesaler, we employ over 630 staff members and have access to over 65,000 lines of product through our branch network.
The company has continued to grow and prosper and is still the House for Top Service.
In everything we do we strive to make dealing with us a great experience, and our friendly team of people help make it more fun.