Addis future looks bleak

The future of one of Britain’s oldest companies, houseware maker Addis, is in doubt after German parent Emsa axed managing director John Newcomb and began pulling production from the UK.

Recently, the Addis floorcare range was delisted by retailers Asda and Tesco. Sources say the supermarkets are not keen to keep a brand that will be run from Germany. Rival housewares maker Vileda confirms that it will move into Tesco following the withdrawal of Addis. Emsa is also understood to have pulled all ad and marketing for the brand.

The company plans to move its food storage and brush production to Germany, and a question mark hangs over the rest of the business. It is closing its Swansea factory and says it is looking for a new site.

Pam Plant, housewares director for the British Hardware and Houseware Manufacturers’ Association, says: “[Newcomb] has done a fantastic job turning Addis around but the company is rudderless without a UK managing director. Emsa says Addis will be manufacturing in the UK for the foreseeable future but it will be interesting to see how long that is.”

Newcomb joined Addis ten years ago as marketing director, before becoming managing director in 2000. He oversaw a management buy-out of Addis in 1996, then the acquisition by Emsa. His marketing duties will be handed to marketing manager Kate Johnston.

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