Cable and Accessories celebrates its 40th anniversary

A high standard of customer service, extensive stock and agile response to evolving market demands have propelled the business from a small trade counter into Northern Ireland’s largest independent electrical wholesaler…

As it reaches a milestone 40 years of trading in 2024, Cable & Accessories NI Ltd is lining up its next big move.

There will be no sitting back and reflecting on its success as Northern Ireland’s largest independent electrical wholesaler with a turnover of £14m and branches in Derry/Londonderry, Limavady, Omagh and Enniskillen, as well as Letterkenny and Buncrana in the Republic of Ireland.

Instead, having observed the developing market for renewables, Director Kieran McAllister is ready to take the plunge and set the business up for its next 40 years.

Kieran McAllister, Director, Cables & Accessories NI Ltd.

Kieran attributes the success of Cable & Accessories to its dedicated team of 43 staff members across the six branches, many of whom have been with the business for 20-plus years.

He himself joined founders Basil and Patricia Kyle in the business in 1990, Basil and Patricia remain directors of the business but stepped back from day-to-day operations around 20 years ago, leaving Kieran at the helm.

Cable & Accessories’ first counter was opened at Pennyburn Pass, close to the current Derry HQ, followed by branches in Limavady, Letterkenny, Buncrana and Omagh. Enniskillen is the most recent addition to the company’s portfolio.

The Derry HQ is its biggest space at 20,000sqft, with a team of 12 staff members. 

“With each move, the time felt right, and it was part of a gradual, considered growth,” said Kieran. “The recession in 2008 was a very challenging time for the industry. It made us conscious of the type of business we were in. 

“Closely connected to the construction industry, we had no choice but to batten down the hatches and work through it. We took a step back and a cold, hard look at ourselves. To be honest, from that experience everything became more streamlined, more efficient.” 

The pandemic also ushered in changes for the business. “We kept the business open part time for the first couple of weeks, and then people just drifted back themselves, because we were part of the essential supply chain supplying local hospitals,” said Kieran. 

“We picked up a huge amount of business over that period and that’s the thing about being independent, you’re more flexible. 

“That’s how we’ve evolved over the years – because you’re independent, you’re able to change course. You don’t have to wait for somebody in an ivory tower to sign it off. 

“We’ve also built up very close relationships with a lot of customers over the years, and that for us has been key. They do value the fact we give a great service.” 

As well as “gold-standard customer service”, the business offers an extensive stockholding and competitive pricing as a member of ANEW (Associated National Electrical Wholesalers), the largest independent buying group in the UK. 

Its move into renewables such as solar PV is set to roll out across the branches from July and will build on Cable & Accessories’ existing green credentials.

All its company cars are now electric, including vans for local deliveries, some of which are powered by the company’s own solar panels, which include a 50kW system at its Springtown Industrial Estate HQ.

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For more information:

Head Office: 6 Balliniska Business Park, Springfield Industrial Estate, Derry/Londonderry BT48 0NA

T: +44 (0)28 7136 0110 – E: