Mills began trading in 1918 selling army surplus engineering tools to the numerous engineering workshops and factories springing up around west London. Better known today for its specialist tooling aimed at the communications industry, Mills also offers cable management and structured cabling products for datacoms engineers and network installers.
Not only has Mills Ltd been selling tools for a century, but the family which started the business is still very much in charge of operations. Founder Arthur Mills and his wife Louise handed over the running of the company to their son Maurice after the Second World War. In turn, Maurice’s son Jerry, now managing director, joined in the late seventies. Two years ago, Jerry’s son, Elliot, came on board, marking four generations of the same family.
The story of Mills
Always based in west London, the company has grown from a corner shop in Acton to the 50,000 sq ft facility it currently occupies on the Fairway Industrial Estate in Greenford, Middlesex.
Originally known as A. Mills (Acton) Ltd, the Company developed a thriving tooling distribution business embracing not only the busy local manufacturing outlets of west London but also supporting local tradespeople and the growing interest in DIY.
During the 1980s, recognising the decline in UK manufacturing and under threat from the rapidly growing DIY stores such as B&Q and Texas Homecare, Mills decided to move to the Park Royal Trading Estate and tailor their output very much for the service and maintenance industries, in addition to the growing telecommunication, data communication and cable TV markets.
Early in the new millennium the Company, requiring more space, moved to its current site in Greenford and continued to develop its tooling range, adding overseas distributors in Cyprus, Malta, Montenegro, Romania, Lithuania, Iran, Egypt, South Africa and the Caribbean.
In 2007, the Company developed and launched its own range of structured cabling and fibre optic products. Branded `Fusion’, this “altogether better” line was extensively researched and tested to offer installers time-saving, cost-effectiveness and top quality products.
By popular demand, in 2010 Mills added an extensive range of overhead and underground tooling for the telecommunications industry which, as well as satisfying an extensive need in the UK, also achieved a large following in former colonial countries.
Today, due to the country’s demand for ever faster broadband speeds, Mills stands poised to increase its share of the ever-expanding communications marketplace With such a wealth of experience and entrepreneurial spirit still flourishing within the Mills family, the organisation seems set fair to continue its remarkable progress for another hundred years and beyond.