Family is at the core of some of the most celebrated brands on the market, with well-established organisations such as Ford, Wal-Mart and Motorola have been built on the foundations of a family ethos, with Cheadle Hulme’s Snape & Sons also following identical principles.
Despite the benefits that internationally recognised companies bring to our high-streets, family-run businesses continue to attract custom with their unique appeal and charm. Adam Snape has worked with the company since he was a teenager and now manages the day-to-day operations at the hardware store based on Church Road.
“I’m delighted to be a part of the family business. I’m the fourth generation after my Great Grandad originally opened the business in 1936. The business was originally based in Salford, but he moved over to Cheadle Hulme and we’ve been based here ever since.”
Since opening in Cheadle Hulme, Snape & Sons has established itself as a quintessential part of the local retail scene, forming a fantastic reputation as a highly respected and popular retailer.
With the assistance of his knowledgeable, dedicated staff, Adam and Snape & Sons have provided exemplary service for the local community continually. Such is the quality of service provided, the company were named ‘Home Hardware Retailer of the Year 2019’ in November beating out over 550 other independent hardware retailers from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
While such honours are greatly appreciated by the entire team, prizes such as these bring Adam and other family members associated with the store added pleasure, given their sentimental connection with the business. Adam has followed the development of the business throughout his life first-hand, having started his role at Snape & Sons at the age of thirteen, before beginning a full-time role seven years ago.
While the shop may seem like a run-of-the-mill hardware store at first glance, the ambitious manager of this long-standing family business is keen to ensure that customers are frequently provided with service befitting of their expectations.
“We aim to provide everything for our customers, every day; if they need something, we’ll always do our best to have it in stock. For example, household, garden and DIY essentials – those products form the core of our business.
“If we don’t have a product, we’ll always go out of our way to order it. We want to make sure that our customers know that we’ll go above and beyond to make sure that they don’t have to go here there and everywhere to get what they need.”
Since the retailer opened in the 1930s, the local marketplace has changed dramatically. Adam outlined how he believes the business has adapted to suit new requirements, to ensure that customers are continually provided with a seamless retail experience, befitting of their expectations.
“The market has changed a lot. Originally, when I first started working here, we sold a lot of giftware: paperweights, photo frames, as well as a lot of high-end crockery – we used to stock Le Creuset and Denby.
“However, as is often the case, times change and we found that the giftware slowly tailed off, mainly because if people want high-end brands, they’ll more often than not go to the high-end stores. Therefore, we decided to just focus on the essential products that you need for every day.”
Moreover, business development hasn’t been limited to the products lining the shelves at Snape & Sons, with the business itself evolving as time has progressed.
“When I first started working, we used to have old-fashioned tills – we had to type in the prices ourselves, but thankfully, now we’re fully barcoded! Now, we’ve had the opportunity to extend into new showrooms; we’re now much more efficient in the way that we conduct our business.”
Many workers are part of companies whereby they don’t have the same emotional ties that Adam and his family have experienced since the formation of Snape & Sons. There is an undoubted lure that appeals to many customers who have the urge to support a local, long-standing business – Adam provided his opinion on how he perceives the influence that a family run business can have on people running the venture.
“When you’re part of a family business, there’s a lot more riding on it and you’re brought up living and breathing the company. For a short time when I was growing up in the nineties, we had a second shop in Alderley Edge and he was building a brick counter from scratch. One of my first memories of that time is carrying bricks, at the age of four, trying to put the counter together with my Dad.
“In my view, this isn’t something that you fall into and have no experience of, because even if I didn’t have the experience, my Dad has the experience, as does my Grandad, so there’s a consistency running through the business. There’s a consistency of management, as the family are always at the forefront. Moreover, we like to employ local people and support the local community, it’s an ethos that we promote.”
Snape & Sons have experienced monumental growth and expansion since beginning trading in 1936, earning a reputation as a pillar in the local retail community. Naturally, there are always opportunities to develop and improve further, but for now, Adam is choosing to consolidate current investments, before assessing the next natural step.
“We’d love to trade online, but this would be like running a separate business; although we have a warehouse, we’d still need people to take orders, pack stock, deliver goods and take returns. As it stands, we want to optimise our current stock and continue growing our brand, before potentially considering online trading.
“The market has been so changeable, so we need to make the most of current scenario before starting grand ventures – sustainability is key.”
We all need everyday essentials – so, why not shop whilst supporting a well-established, local business, located in the heart of Cheadle Hulme? Call Snape & Sons on 0161 485 1309 or email [email protected] to speak with a member of the team.