Packaging Disruptor Lesters Celebrates 40 Years of Success with £18m Turnover and Expansion Plans

(l-r) Billy, Stephen and Scott Hutchinson celebrate the firm’s 40th birthday

Lesters, a major disruptor in the packaging sector, marked its 40th anniversary in May with cause for celebration as its turnover reached an impressive £18 million. The management team wasted no time in signaling their commitment to further investment, following the recent acquisition of two cutting-edge TCY large format casemakers that have revolutionized production at the Burntwood facility.

Founded in 1983 by Stephen Hutchinson, Lesters has come a long way since its humble beginnings in a 1000 sq ft unit in Walsall, where a static caravan served as the makeshift office. Billy Hutchinson, Managing Director and son of founder Stephen, reflected on the company’s journey, stating, “In the early days, we focused on selling used cardboard boxes and tea chests, with very little technology in the business. It was all built on my dad’s hard work and sales acumen, which continue to drive Lesters today. We have simply added state-of-the-art equipment and industry-leading processes into the mix, enabling us to become the UK’s leading specialist in big box packaging for sectors such as aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, and third-party logistics.”

The recent period has witnessed rapid growth for Lesters, highlighted by significant milestones. In 2009, the company made a major machinery investment, and two years later, it relocated to its current premises in Burntwood. The COVID-19 pandemic further fueled the demand for Lesters’ products, as online shopping surged, resulting in 120% growth during those challenging times. The company’s success has been underpinned by continuous investment in both cutting-edge technology and its workforce, which has grown to nearly 70 employees, a 20% increase compared to last year.

Lesters celebrated its 40th anniversary with a grand party for team members and their families. The company, which manufactures millions of corrugated boxes, large format packaging, and heavy-duty cases annually, has also unveiled a dedicated photography and videography studio to promote its new large box offering and enhance its social media presence.

Looking ahead to the future, Lesters remains committed to organic growth while exploring potential acquisitions. Billy Hutchinson emphasized the need to plan for the next 40 years, including the search for suitable land to construct their own factory and storage facilities. The company’s strong foundation, coupled with its focus on innovation and people, positions Lesters as one of the most dynamic players in the packaging industry.

Founder Stephen Hutchinson expressed his pride in the company’s growth and commended his two sons, Billy and Scott, for their collaborative efforts in establishing Lesters as an exciting force in the industry. Billy concluded by expressing gratitude to the Lesters team, stating, “Recognizing our 40th birthday was important to express our heartfelt thanks to our amazing team, who truly are the backbone of our business.”

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