The Old Basket Supply Ltd. trading as t o b s ® was started in the 1980’s by its current owner with around £100. Selling baskets in street markets in and around London were the beginnings of this business. It was hard work. Seven days a week without a holiday for many years. The company was incorporated in 1991 and given its current name. The trademark t o b s ®came into being many years later.
By the early 1990’s enough capital was available to start importing baskets. The first overseas buying trip was to the Philippines. It was successful, the items ordered sold well. China was the next source. Again, the products sourced sold well. At that time, the warehouse consisted of a single railway arch in Bermondsey, an area just south of the well-known bridge, Tower Bridge. It was also a time to expand. The Old Basket Supply Ltd. attended its first trade fair as an exhibitor. The Spring Fair, at the NEC in Birmingham. It was a success. Many small retailers became loyal customers.
Over the next couple of decades business continued to expand as did its product range. The company started to sell to large retail groups too. Bigger warehouses were needed. The business moved to East London, the old dock area. It stayed there until the end of 2018. By this time, the business was selling a much larger range of products. Obviously, baskets were still part of the range, but also included, Christmas decorations, wooden furniture, candle holders, furniture for the home and garden, decorative items and much more. Over the years the company has attended many trade fairs, including overseas ones as an exhibitor, this helped to develop an export business too. At the same time there were many overseas trips to source products; to Romania, Poland, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh amongst others.
Excellent relationships have been built up with many very good factories. These relationships have enabled The Old Basket Supply Ltd. to source products for various companies in the UK and Europe. When warehouse leases came to an end in December 2018, it was decided to change the direction of the business. Its owner, now well past retirement age, wanted an easier life. The product range is now much smaller, but very focused on a small range of very good selling Design Registered garden furniture and very good quality rattan baskets from Indonesia. Sourcing products for larger customers continues. The company now sells mainly full containers from factories in the Far East directly to customers in Europe and the UK. Prices quoted for this container business will be FOB in US Dollars. For the UK and Ireland, we can deliver pallet loads. We use a logistics company close to Felixstowe Docks to unload containers, palletise, and deliver.
We thank you for reading this abbreviated history of The Old Basket Supply Ltd. and look forward to a possible mutually beneficial business relationship.