Accapi Group Ltd

Accapi Group Ltd

A County Durham business has become Europe’s sole distributor of performance outdoor gear for dogs, Ruffwear, from its base at Tanfield Lea Business Centre.

Accapi Group started as the UK distributor for the American brand, which creates high tech gear for the pet sector, in 2010 and now distributes to 31 countries across Europe.

The premises at Tanfield Lea have provided the perfect, modern office spaces for the company, which has moved within the business centre four times as it has grown. The company has accrued in excess of £30m worth of business in the last decade and its talented team members, with seven languages between them, have increased to 17 staff.

Founded by entrepreneur George Heydon, Andrew Geere joined the business as partner and CEO in the early days.

Andrew said: “Ruffwear is an outdoor brand which is every bit as technical and innovative as leading brands for humans. Ruffwear’s mission is to inspire outdoor adventures for dogs and their human companions. We liked the brand and the people and shared their values.

“It’s been a fantastic journey for Accapi. There are 75 million dogs in Europe, so that’s potentially 75 million customers for us. We’ve moved several times within the offices at Tanfield to accommodate our growth. Business Durham has supported us along the way. The staff are very accommodating and it’s a good location for us.”

Andrew said help from the Government and Durham County Council regarding COVID-19 support had been ‘welcome and swift’.

He added: “The trading environment is changing all the time. No one has ever experienced this kind of situation before, but it is often when business is restricted that you have to be entrepreneurial to survive. Our plan is to come out of this in a strong position.”

The company distributes to a range of European retailers, with its leading markets in Germany, France, UK and Switzerland.

Tanfield Lea Business Centre is run by Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council.  The centre houses 41, 24-hour accessed offices with sizes ranging from 135 – 1,787 sq ft. There are air-conditioned meeting room facilities, free onsite parking, communal kitchen areas and a shower on site.