SERVING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Investing in the local community in time and money is not just about how much press coverage you get but an underlining desire to do things differently. Whether it’s support of a local charity with an event, donation or gift or offering over 15 work experience placements a year to schools and colleges in our five departments.
Its not only about how the company can boast that we have provided services on such a varied scale to so many domestic and commercial customers for over 95 years and still hold fast to the traditions of honesty, integrity and a sense of doing what is right. Our products may have changed but our customer service has not. One of the reasons our customers come back to us again and again is we’ve learnt how important it is to offer a friendly, personal and reliable service that doesn’t just get the job done but lets you know we’re always here for you, whatever happens.
Chapmans are pleased to support a number of Charities, click here to find out further details
A Statement from our MD: Robert Chapman
CHAPMANS COMPANY HERITAGE
The Company is established in 1925 and is mainly concerned with wiring for factories and domestic customers. Electricity is a brand new technology. Practically no houses at this time have electricity – most use coal for heating and gas for lighting. Factories & foundries lead the way in the demand for the installation of electricity.
The wiring side of the business continues to grow and in 1934 Mr. Chapman opens a shop. This is mainly to sell peripherals to the wiring activities, such as bulbs, fuses and plugs. It also sells radios and provides a charging facility for the accumulators that most people use to run their radios. Items such as electric irons, hair dryers, kettles and toasters are beginning to emerge and are offered for sale, but as so few homes have an electricity supply, they are not common.
WWII 1939 – 1945
The business is mainly concerned with the war effort ensuring that electrical supplies are maintained in factories. Electricians are not required to go to war.
1940’s and 1950’s
After the war there is a boom in product availability and demand. The shop now sells TVs, gramophones, radios, portable record players, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, spin dryers, fridges, electric cookers, food mixers and so on, as well as continuing to supply light bulbs, fuses etc.. As a spin off of domestic electrical wiring the Company also began selling light fittings.
All of these products are completely new to the public and so demonstrations of how to use these products take place regularly at the shop and in people’s homes. Company employs a team of demonstrators.
Again, the electrical contracting side of the Company continues and a Service department to fix all of the emerging technologies begins to develop.
In 1944 the company is incorporated and so becomes a Limited Company.
The second generation of Chapman family joins the company.
Commercial contracts with local factories were becoming very substantial and beyond the means of the business to finance. Another local electrician, Mr. Jones, was struggling with the same issues and so the two companies joined together to start a sister Company “Chapman Jones” which was capable of handling very large commercial electrical contracts.
As well as sales of appliances, the Company also saw opportunities to sell “add-ons” such as vinyl records and, another emerging technology, pyrex cookware.
1970’s and 1980’s
There was another explosion in new technologies during this period with the emergence of video players, tumble dryers, washer dryers, dish washers, personal computers and games consoles. Chapman’s sold all of these and stocked peripheral products such as vinyl records and games – and even set up a small video rental library in-store.
In 1970 Chapman’s became part of a new buying group “Birmingham Combined Independents”. This enabled a group of independent stores to join together and buy in bulk – thus obtaining better prices. This buying group was one of the 1st and biggest in the country. Today we see buying groups such as “Euronics” still operating to enable independents to be competitive on price.
In the early 1980s Chapman’s bought out a competitor and opened a second shop in Blackheath.
The mid-80s saw the emergence of satellite television. The skills of Chapman’s staff meant this was an easy and profitable area to move into. This area of the business has expanded rapidly ever since, particularly with digital switchover and has seen the Company take on some very large contracts up to £1 million in value.
1990’s and 2000’s
The company maintained strong departments covering retail sales, service and aerial & satellite. Contract sales, particularly to new build houses, increased to become a substantial part of trading and in 1995 a warehouse was built to house this activity.
We expected that the arrival of a large Tesco store in Cradley Heath might have an impact on sales of smaller items such as kettles, irons, toasters etc… Whilst the Cradley Heath branch of Chapman’s tended to sell mainly items much larger products than this, the Blackheath branch tended to sell low value items. As a result it was decided to close the Blackheath store in 2007.
Large factory electrical installations had declined as manufacturing had declined since the 1980s. This meant that our sister company, Chapman Jones’, activities, whilst buoyant, were now not big enough to operate effectively as a separate business and so in 2008 was merged into Chapman’s Electrical and became a department within the main business.
In 2011 we became MCS accredited to install Solar Photovoltaic Systems and began to help our customers to generate their own electricity – a huge move forward from where the company started wiring homes and businesses to receive the “new energy”, electricity.
We expect to continue to see the development and introduction of new technologies in our sector – such as the recent evolution of 3DTV and Smart TV. As always, Chapman’s will change and adapt to keep abreast of new inventions and technology and use this technology to serve our customer base in every possible way.
We anticipate growth in the demand for “Smart Homes”, whereby all heating, lighting, security and entertainment is controlled from a central unit.
Also, we see growth in the energy efficiency markets including micro generation (Solar panels, wind turbines etc…)
Thank you for your interest in our company past, we hope you will visit us in the future
We’re here to help
- Huge range of products to suit all budgets
- The best brands from functional to designer
- All our engineers are fully equipped, fully trained, qualified and DBS checked
- All work fully guaranteed and insured
- In house repair workshops and in-home services
- NIC EIC accredited and ECA registered engineers
- FREE quotes for electrical work, no job too small
- FREE car parking at Cradley Heath store
- Shop with confidence – serving the Black Country and beyond for nearly 100 years