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Established in 1919, Harrisons Direct are award-winning specialists in wholesale distribution.

A lot has changed over the years so we invite you to take a look at our proud heritage and learn more about our story.



A young Hilda Coupe founded our firm in her parents ‘front room’ in Manchester Road, Accrington selling smallwares to shops/market traders in the local area.


The business moves premises and secures a vehicle however, Hilda’s Father, Moses Coupe is involved in a serious accident leaving his memory permanently impaired. Albert Harrison, the passenger in the accident, offers Hilda help to keep the business going.

1926 - 1929

Albert purchases the business outright from Hilda and it becomes known as Albert Harrison trading as M Coupe. The need for more space prompts a further move and the first Sales Representative from outside the family is engaged.

1940 - 1945

In 1940 the business is incorporated as Albert Harrison & Co Ltd.  As the war ends and more staff return from the armed forces, the business quickly begins to expand. The portfolio now includes medicines, toiletries, stationery, toys, and hosiery.

1949 - 1954

The business moves to a larger premises for a third time on Union Street, Accrington. The number of Sales Representatives peaks at 17 and the business changes direction as it turns its attention to servicing nationwide accounts, some of whom we still work with to this day.

1965 - 1974

The business re-locates in 1965 to Queens Mill, Accrington, a 22,000 sq. ft level floor warehouse – it’s home for the next 53 years. In 1974 the “3-day week” occasioned by industrial action with the restriction to power supplies throws business into disorder, however the prompt installation of generators allows Harrisons to continue operating without interruption.

1976 - 1979

In 1978 a BCL Molecular computer is installed and is the biggest investment since the purchase of Queen’s Mill. Hilda and Albert’s son Cyril forms the buying group “Fanfare” along with 15 fellow wholesalers.


Cyril, aged 72 retires from the day-to-day running of the business and is made Chairman. A new team of Directors, namely Alan Sanderson, Elaine Hardy and Frank Burrows is formed.


Our first website, is launched in 2007 allowing customers to order online.

In 2010 Harrisons joins the STAGG Group to strengthen its stationery and toy categories. A new Management Team consisting of Paul Sanderson and Cara McKenna, overseen by Chairman, Graham Harrison is implemented in 2011. The team will be extended further over the next 8 years to include a Head of Buying, a Business Development Manager, an IT Manager, and a Warehouse Operations Manager.

2012 - 2013

SAP Business One is introduced in 2012, which allows for internal processes to be streamlined from accountancy and CRM to supply chain management. In 2013 we collaborate with a new digital agency and the company website is overhauled and relaunched on a Magento platform.

2015 - 2018

During 2015, annual turnover exceeds £5 million and the process of searching for new, larger premises begins.

In 2016, the Harrisons Direct website is refreshed to add new features and an improved checkout process, and we become finalists at the Lancashire Business View Red Rose Awards. Unfortunately, this isn’t the company’s year!

The business relocates to Padiham on 18th January 2018 to a purpose built, fully digitalised 28,000 sq. ft warehouse complete with re-fitted offices. In March, the company is awarded top prize in the Ecommerce Business Award category at the Lancashire Business View Red Rose Awards.


The company celebrates 100 years of trading with a ‘golden coin’ competition for its customers. An evening event is held and in excess of 150 people attend including the Harrison family, staff from past and present, suppliers and customers.


A new website is launched in February on the latest Magento platform that further embraces a seamless online shopping experience for customers. An EDLP (everyday low pricing) strategy is implemented which sees hundreds of prices drop across all categories.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent nationwide lockdowns, as a distributor of key product categories, the company remains open albeit on a much-reduced workforce. Despite significant interruption to business, the company retains turnover at £7 million.


During England’s third lockdown, new product categories are introduced which includes extended BBQ and Camping, Gardening and Outdoor Furniture ranges along with a first for Harrisons, larger outdoor toys supplied direct from the manufacturer.

Turnover increases to £8 million despite ongoing challenges throughout the year due to Covid-19, stock availability from the Far East and HGV driver shortages.


We are awarded ‘Platinum Trusted Service’ status from Feefo, based on independent customer feedback that recognises businesses who deliver exceptional customer experiences. A new head of buying is appointed, and work begins on streamlining ranges to ensure we supply only the most-relevant products to our customers. We engage with a new marketing agency to increase and improve our marketing activities and after 103 years of family ownership, the company undergoes a Management Buy Out. For the first time since Covid-19, the staff end the year celebrating at their Christmas party!

Turnover increases to £10 million.


We once again win the Feefo award for ‘Platinum Trusted Service’ for the fourth year running. In September a brand-new Harrisons Direct website is launched by engaging a new digital agency to build a WooCommerce site from the ground up. The new design and build enables faster loading times, more responsive designs, and a streamlined checkout process for an improved experience for our customers.

Turnover increases once again to in excess of £11 million.

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