It has been a bit of a winding path for LF Spares to create its own UK division, but 4 years on from its inauguration, the subsidiary is still posting huge growth levels of between 25% and 35% year on year.
This year the UK arm even looks on course to beat those figures.
Following previous distribution agreements in the 2000s with variously Caterparts and the First Choice Group, LF decided in 2012 to strike out on its own and sell to the UK catering equipment spares market itself in 2012 (though First Choice remains one of the UK division’s biggest customers).
But if anyone thought that providing spares directly from LF’s Italian headquarters in Cesena would be a problem for supply lead times, they have been proven wrong.
“People initially don’t believe that we can supply them parts within 24 hours,” said LF’s UK director, Mark Brooks. “But we just need one order, and once we prove it the first time, they come back to us.”
Next day orders can be made up to 3pm, with an average of 30 orders a day coming from the UK.
With some of the biggest spare parts firms in the UK actually ordering from ‘competitor’ LF, Brooks feels: “Our advantage is we are the only company offering a one stop shop – we have parts not only for the core business, but for appliances such as refrigerators and coffee machines too.”
These sentiments are reflected in the vast 1.4m items searchable in LF’s database, of which 51,000 are available from stock. IT plays a vital part in organising this information, with the firm being the first catering spares specialist to indicate its real stock availability on its website.