In this episode Paul Fox, Managing Director of Fox Group (Moving & Storage) Ltd discusses that his father Roy (formerly a Pickfords man) started the company in 1971 (and this year celebrate their 50th year anniversary) when he had an opportunity to purchase a small valley’s company.
We discover that after 8/9 years Paul’s father had built the company into Fox The Mover building a couple of warehouses along the way. Paul joined the company working weekends and school holidays to fund his motorcycle habit and started fulltime at the age of 16, starting as a porter and in the garage, and at the young age of 18 through the RTITB (Road Transport Industry Training Board) gained his HGV licence. Before turning 20 Paul was shipped off to run the Cardiff branch (William Flay Removals) under the guidance of Stuart Fitton.
We discuss that when Roy took on the BAR Presidency in 1984, Paul (aged 23) was transferred to run the head office in Cwmbran, which consisted approximately of 8 trucks on removals and 8 trucks on distribution.
We discover that Roy, together with John Court, Mike Banks, Mike Devereux and a few others formed a co-operative called Britannia Movers International, which was based upon American Van Lines, but Roy left, amicably, in 1986. In 1987 The Pantechnicon (established 1830) was purchased but was an absolute disaster which nearly cost their own business.
We discuss that today Fox Group turnover approximately £10m, 40-50 trucks, 120 staff and 14 business units.
We discover Paul’s challenges have been the turmoil years after buying The Pantechnicon, the recession in 1992, the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007, and of course Covid.
We discuss that the one thing Paul would change from his past would be to get an education, however this is not a regret but merely an observation.
We discover Paul has several highpoints of being within the industry, BAR (which has been Paul’s university from an educational point of view), following in his father’s footsteps and taking up Presidency in 2004, eventually getting all the shares of the company and becoming the owner, and building new & refurbishing old premises.
We discuss the one thing Paul would change within the industry is yet again 3.5 tonne vans as it is a low entry into the industry, but that may be changing with European Union legislation insisting that vehicles over 2.5 tonne are registered on your operators licence.
We discover that the advice Paul would give to himself starting out in the industry again would be to work smarter not harder.
We discuss where Paul sees himself and the industry in the next 5 years, for himself he does not see himself retiring, even though his father retired at 60, and industry wise he does hope that 3.5 tonne regulation is enforced, but also believes it is up to the younger generation to be professional and develop their businesses, perhaps becoming better salesmen.
We discover that outside of the industry Paul does try to discipline himself and switch off, and is a frustrated sportsman participating in long distance running, cycling and triathlons! And living in a barn conversion with a couple of fields there is always something for Paul to be doing.
And as always we end Moving Matters with three funny moving stories, one involving a piano, one involving a bicycle during an institute study tour to Frankfurt, and one involving Mike Devereux and a minibar!
Links to Fox Group (Moving & Storage) Ltd: