Accapi Group moved into Tanfield Lea Business Centre, managed by Business Durham, in May 2010, with two employees. They were previously based in Newcastle City Centre, but moved to Tanfield in favour of the modern facilities, relaxed environment, affordable rates and free parking.
Founded by George Heydonand Andrew Geere, Accapi started off distributing Nexus; a unique, innovative compression sportswear product in the UK, which helped athletes recover after sport. Many of the 2012 Olympic athletes used the product, but unfortunately, it was not commercially viable in the longer term.
Seizing an opportunity that came about during a chance meeting with an old friend, Accapi started to distribute an innovative dog accessory brand called Ruffwear from the USA, initially in the UK.
Accapi have seen fantastic growth in their time at Tanfield Lea Business Centre, with 130% growth on their business from financial year 2013/14 - 2014/15 alone. This success continued in the latter of 2015 when their initial £5m contract with Ruffwear was extended 18 months into their 5 year deal, quadrupling the value to £20m. Success has also come overseas with exports in European markets accelerating Accapi’s international business from 4% in December 2012 to 66% of total business by December 2015.
Accapi’s reputation of uncompromising customer service and support includes two other brands in their portfolio, Kurgo and Planet Dog which they acquired distribution rights for in 25 countries throughout Europe.
They have 12 UK-based employees, plus another 8 international sales agents and a number of wholesalers throughout Europe. They employ a diverse staff, from local people, recent graduates to two native German speakers.
The company has moved offices twice in their five years at Tanfield Lea Business Centre, in order to allow for staff growth and business expansion. Andrew Geere, CEO of Accapi, says that some of their success is down to Business Durham’s fantastic office accommodation and support: “Being in Tanfield Lea Business Centre has allowed us to expand our business easily. It has been really convenient to be able to move offices internally to allow for expansion, and the Business Durham staff have been helpful and flexible every step of the way.”
Accapi now have plans to make their brands globally known, continuing to strengthen the brands’ position in the European market place and Business Durham will continue to support them in every way they can.