Brothers put success down to their personal service provided to many long-term clients
Published 02/08/2011 | 05:00
The Lighthouse building on the outskirts of Sligo is home to Clifford Electrical -- about to celebrate its 40th birthday next February.
Founded by the late Paddy Clifford, the lighting showrooms and its large wholesale electrical business is run by brothers Pat and John Clifford, who expanded the business. Their sister Mary is also involved.
Moving from the town centre in 2004 to the new purpose-built premises was the "best move" for the business and secured it for the next generation, Pat Clifford says.
The company was well settled there before the boom ended and it gave Cliffords the scope to organise its business in the way that worked best.
The business has changed a lot since its foundation. The past couple of years in particular have been challenging, with consumers cutting back on luxury items -- and the Cliffords have responded.
"We are lucky the retail side that sells lighting and small appliances accounts for about 25pc of our business while the wholesale is the biggest part and is doing well," Clifford says.
The company employs 23 staff. It attributes its success to being hands-on -- and adds that the personal service provided to its many long-standing customers distinguishes Cliffords from multinationals in the same sector.
From its Sligo base its wholesale electrical arm sells to hardware and electrical shops and contractors in seven counties around the north-west with two full-time sales representatives. In recent years it joined the international buyers group, Fegime, which gives it huge buying power to compete with the big multinationals.
This move has been a great boost and will help the business to thrive in the years ahead, Clifford says.