A. Algeo Limited
According to the ‘Gore Street Directory’, John Algeo established a leather dealing business at 97 Brownlow Hill, Liverpool in 1881. John was born in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland in about 1847-8 and his wife was from in Liverpool. It is thought that they married about 1876.
The first record of John Algeo shows him trading as a Boot Maker in 1879, at 7 Trafalgar Street, Liverpool. His son, Arthur Algeo was born in 1883 and other children followed including William.
At a later date the business moved to 104 Brownlow Hill, close to the University, on a site that has since been demolished to allow for the building of the Metropolitan Cathedral.
In 1896, part of the business was moved to 326 Upper Parliament Street in Toxteth. This prominent building was erected in about 1880 on land that had been owned by the Earl of Sefton. In 1895 the following traders occupied the shops:
322 Mrs White – Book Maker
324 J Lees – Butcher
326 – Vaughans Musical Instrument Maker
It was at this point that Algeos first called themselves ‘Leather and Grindery Merchants’ (a traditional term used by wholesalers to the shoe repair industry). In 1910, John Algeo had at least two of his sons working in the business, William and Arthur. The freehold to 326 was bought in 1910 and Nos. 320, 322 and 324 shortly after.
John died in the 20’s and William was running the business when in 1933 and on the verge of bankruptcy he was forced to sell some of the properties for £1500.
In 1947 the founder’s son, Arthur, gave his name to the present firm A. Algeo Ltd when it became incorporated as a company with Limited Liability on the 16th June 1947 (Registered Number 437100).
On Arthur Algeo’s death in the late 50‘s, his widow sold the firm to the sales manager, Henry Swanson, who continued to manage the business with his son, also called Henry.
Alan Sheridan Takes Control of Algeos
Following the deaths of Henry Senior and then at an early age, Henry Junior, the business was run by the latter’s widow Betty until February 1990, when it was bought by the John Joseph Trust and the management transferred to the current chairman: Alan Sheridan.
In 1991 the sales team was expanded with the view to build on the local Orthopaedic market already supplied by the company within a fifty mile radius. Without initial specialist knowledge they were able to introduce the company and to develop good working relationships with new customers throughout the United Kingdom.
Originally concentrating on two or three main products (including Cork) the company expanded their range as demand grew. Customers warming to the concept and convenience of a “one stop shop”.
In 1997 the company expanded into a larger 6,000 square foot factory in Speke (Liverpool), employing eight new staff and investing in new manufacturing machinery. A factory manager was also employed to run the ever-growing logistics operation.
The move allowed the business to withdraw from the ailing shoe repair trade and to concentrate on new markets such as Podiatry and Physiotherapy.
These specialist markets complemented Algeos’ supply of orthotic & prosthetic materials and in 1998 a specialist manager was recruited to consolidate and build sales in these areas.
Following the liquidation of a locally based supplier of shoe-sundry retail items, (Luckings) the manufacturing assets were bought from the liquidator and Algeo’s continued supplying its former shoe repair wholesale competitors.
Continuing sales growth led to an inevitable move to larger premises and the company re-located around the corner to its current premises in 1999 (a 15,000 square foot industrial unit with bulk material handling machinery).
Business Acquisitions Stimulate Growth
In September 2003, Algeos acquired Footwear Findings Ltd of Somerset, UK. This was a strategic move by the company to assist business growth and gain full UK distributorship of PORON Urethanes – the world’s leading comfort material produced by the Rogers Corporation of Connecticut USA.
In March 2004, the company purchased BC Leathers of Essex from the owner Brian Cordery (ex Pangbourne Leathers), in a move to expand its leather customer base and acquire strategic suppliers.
In January 2005, Algeos gained an extra 10,000 square foot through the acquisition of the adjacent building at their current warehouse location in Speke. The additional space is integral to Algeos’ growth strategy, which should satisfy logistical requirements for up to 5 years.
In 2006 Algeos celebrates its 125 year anniversary.
In March 2008 Algeos went global with the opening of its first satellite operation in Melbourne, Australia.