After spending 22 years in India and Kenya managing tea plantations, Peter Shortt returned to Warwickshire and founded DCS Commodities in 1975. Later joined by his four sons, the Stratford-based company formerly known as Shakespeare, has evolved into a toiletry distributorship. Son Denys, a former international hockey player, is its chief executive. The company originally distributed toiletry products to neighbourhood drugstores around the UK, but soon recognised that family-run shops were rapidly being replaced by large supermarkets and chemists chains. Switching tack, DCS started supplying major stores such as Safeway. Today it distributes products from 49 countries around the world. Sales have grown from £5.2m in 1994 to £35.6m in 1997. Chairman Denys Shortt attributes the company’s success to its investments in technology that have helped the company better display its products to customers. DCS uses a plasma screen to exhibit its products at tradeshows.
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