Distributors fight to save 95-year-old Company

  |  Published: May 11th 2018

Last week, one of Britain’s oldest and best loved home-shopping companies said goodbye to its staff, with a loss of over 140 employees. The company is now furiously fighting to stay open to support a network of over 5,000 self-employed distributors throughout the UK, Ireland, and Spain.

Kleeneze, best known for selling homewares, cleaning products and gifts through its network of door-to-door distributors to over one million customers, has performed well over the years, giving a flexible opportunity for people to work for themselves. However, tough trading conditions lead to the business entering administration on 16 April.

Now, a consortium of Kleeneze distributors are fighting for a way for the company’s work force to share ownership of Kleeneze, making them the first in the network marketing industry to own the company they work with.

“It would be great if we could get the British public behind the fight to save our iconic company,” said Craig White, who has worked as a distributor for 15 years. “This business has provided a lifeline for so many people over the years, it would be a sad day to see the demise of yet another British company.”

Kleeneze was formed in 1923 by Harry Crook, who then operated it from a space under the stairs in his father-in-law’s home at Whitehall, Bristol. The company proved to be popular and started to grow, going on to be the biggest employer of ex-servicemen following World War 2.

Gillian Nicholson, living in Billericay, along with her family, has been involved with Kleeneze for over half a century. Her father joined the business in the early 60s, handing over the running of their business to her in the 90s.

Gillian says: “Kleeneze is such unique business, giving ordinary people an opportunity to take control of their own finances and time to build better future for their families.  The whole business really is like an extended family, where both the corporate staff and the Distributors work as one. There is a huge belief and passion for Kleeneze, both with the British public and in the distributor network.  The friendly face of the local Kleeneze distributor has tremendous community value.”

“We formed the consortium, because we wanted owners who had only the good of the business in mind – to secure it and maintain jobs for the workforce and their valued customers”. Gillian put an appeal to the Network via Facebook and in just 45 minutes over £64,000 was pledged.  “We are now at over quarter of Million pounds, all pledged by the Network, which shows how important our Businesses are, and how passionate we all are to save our Company’.

“However, in order to achieve this, we do need further help and any contribution will bring us closer to that goal.”

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