Known around the world, Hoover has celebrated over 100 years of making quality appliances for the home. Hoover is dedicated to creating and providing today what customers will demand as the standard of tomorrow. We're constantly thinking ahead to ensure we are able to meet the needs of our many and varied customers with clever, affordable products that are simple and easy to use.
Originally founded in Ohio in 1908, Hoover Limited became a registered company in the UK in 1919. The first factory, in Perivale in Middlesex, opened in 1932 with Hoover quickly establishing itself as the undisputed leader in the floor-cleaning market.
In 1985 Hoover merged with the Chicago Pacific Corporation, based in the USA. Four years later, Chicago Pacific was acquired by domestic appliance giant The Maytag Corporation. The Hoover European Appliance Group came into existence in 1993 and is now part of Candy S.p.A, a private company based in Brugherio in Northern Italy.
Today Hoover, as part of the Hoover Candy Group, employs over 1,350 people in the UK alone.
Murray Spangler worked as a janitor in Canton, a small town in Ohio.
Murray suffered from asthma and the dust stirred up while he cleaned staircases and rugs did nothing but worsen his health. Having given this matter some thought he came up with an ingenious solution. He took a soapbox, a fan, a silk pillowcase and a broomstick and he assembled everything into the first domestic vacuum cleaner ever seen. He tried out his new device and was very encouraged by the results.
Murray was astute enough to recognise the potential of the new product and he wanted to market it. Unfortunately he lacked the resources to develop his idea and knew he needed a sponsor. Before finding a sponsor however he decided to find out what others thought of his new unusual broom and he offers it to a friend, Susan Hoover; a move which made his fortune.
Susan was a curious and far-sighted woman. She tried the vacuum cleaner for a few days in her house and was convinced: the results are excellent, time and effort are halved and dust is not simply moved, but eliminated.
Susan talked to her husband, William H. Hoover, about it. "Boss" Hoover, as he will soon be called, manufactured and marketed leather products in his shop in Canton. Noting his wife's enthusiasm and with his own flair and instinct for an entrepreneurial opportunity, Hoover quickly understood the market potential of the new invention. He buys Spangler's patent and starts producing the vacuum cleaners in a corner of his shop. He hires six workers and starts producing six units a day.
In 1908 the Hoover was born.
This new product soon outgrew the market potential of the small town in which it started. Hoover had ambitious plans and wanted to market the product throughout the country. He decided to publish an advertisement in the Saturday Evening Post, which offered to anyone who responded a free ten day trial. The responses however were not directed to the head office but a well-established shop in each city.
This idea proved to be excellent; great for Hoover who could now expand across the country, the customers who could deal confidently with a reliable and well-established shop and the shop itself - which not only earned a percentage of the sales revenue, but also in Boss Hoover, acquired a new trading partner. Very quickly this clever strategy created a network of customers for his products and also a strong network of well established, respected shops promoting his products.
Over time the sales techniques were improved. The "Boss" took a hands-on approach and showed particular interest in the way his products were sold. From the outset he ensured that well-prepared, trained representatives were assigned to door-to-door sales. In addition he set up showrooms to demonstrate to potential customers the advantages of cleaning "according to Hoover". The combination of great ideas and attention to detail led to the business becoming very successful indeed.
Having achieved success at home Hoover now looked abroad. In 1911, he established the first commercial contacts with Canada; in 1919, he entered the British market and in 1932 the Perivale, West London, site was inaugurated. The rapid rate of growth led to the presence of the Hoover in four continents in just a few short years.
Hoover proved not only to be an excellent marketer and salesman but also as a true entrepreneur. He understood that to ensure longevity in the market he needed to invest in product innovation. As he himself did not have the technical background he hired a team of specialists to initiate a technical and design development programme. In 1909, i.e. only two years after the invention, plans were already in hand to facilitate future product development and industrial growth.
The growth in the first years was impressive and based on his philosophy of perpetual innovation. After years of research, in 1926 technological improvements were made to the carpet sweeper. These improvements combined a metal bar that gently beat the carpet, a brush that removed dust and dirt with a bag that contained and eliminated the dust from the environment. "It beats, as it sweeps as it cleans!” became the famous line in the advertisement. This system, now much modified and improved, is still at the heart of current high tech Hoover vacuum cleaners. Further developments came and in 1936, where Hoover patented a cleaner with a suction pipe – now also a common feature on modern vacuum cleaners.
World War II
By the end of the 1930s, Hoover was the leading producer of floor-care cleaners in the United States. But times were changing; the Second World War created a period of economic instability and manufacturing was diverted to help with the war effort. With the onset of war, Hoover interrupted the production of vacuum cleaners. The machine tools were converted. The presses for plastic parts were used for producing helmets; the sewing machines were used for the parachutes. This substantial material commitment to the war effort was recognised and rewarded by the American and British governments many times.
Boss Hoover's generous nature was evident before the war started, a truly illuminated entrepreneur who was mindful of the social needs of his employees and local community. Hoover had opened recreational clubs for his employees (one became the centre of the YMCA of Canton), was also on the board of directors of the local school, and had become mayor.
During wartime, in keeping with his character, Hoover arranged for eighty- three English children to be relocated to North Canton following the bombing of the area around the Perivale site in London – the children stayed with the families of his employees. At the end of the war they returned home having built durable bonds with their American allies and friends. Indeed in the years to follow many returned to the United States, and settled in Ohio itself. From time to time Hoover organised reunions in both Canton and England so that these particular 'veterans' could re-live their experiences.
In 1946, Hoover began production at the new factory in Cambuslang (Scotland). In 1948, the plant in Merthyr Tydfil (Wales) opened for the production of washing machines, and soon Hoover became market leader in Britain and today remains a significant brand in the market.
Hoover Group continued their expansion up to the eighties, when they reorganized their production, control and governance. The Perivale plant was sold and the production of vacuum cleaners transferred to Cambuslang.
From 1985, a period of ownership changes started: Chicago Pacific Corp. acquired Hoover international activities. In 1989, Maytag Corp. (second largest manufacturer of household appliances in the United States) acquired Chicago Pacific and, accordingly, also Hoover. In 1993, Hoover Trading Company and Hoover UK merged into Hoover European Appliances Group.
In 1995, the Candy Group acquired the totality of Hoover European Appliance Group from Maytag Corporation, including the right of use of the trademark for all Europe, Northern Africa and selected countries in the Middle East.
Today, Hoover is a leader in the floor-care market in Europe. It also produces and markets a wide range of large domestic appliances with a medium to high market positioning - products still based on the founding principles of perpetual innovation, great performance and cutting edge design.
A lot has happened since Hoover created the world’s first upright vacuum cleaner. In fact, the increasing demands of busier, more complex lives has meant that change is something we've had to not just get used to but to anticipate and make the most of.
That original 1908 cleaner has been joined by generation upon generation of new products and innovations all designed to meet the continuing needs of people, their homes and, latterly, the planet. So as we look forward to our next hundred years and the needs of future generations, we’re pretty sure that change will be one of the few unchanging things.
This is why Hoover created 'Generation Future'. A lasting stamp of assurance that shows we are dedicated to creating and providing today what customers will demand as the standard of tomorrow. From floor care to kitchen appliances, we’re constantly thinking ahead to ensure we are able to meet the needs of our many and varied customers with clever, affordable products that are simple and easy to use.
The Foundation's Managing Trustees have established sustained relationships with a number of charities. As well as national causes, organisations close to our UK business locations (South Wales, Glasgow and Bolton) have received particular attention.
Strategic financial assistance given by Hoover has helped Childline create the National Childline charity shops, and we regularly assist with funds for ongoing activities.
The Hoover Foundation is also a major sponsor of the Welsh Young Consumer of the Year.
Social & Environmental Policy
The business reference for any organisation today has moved beyond just return on investment criteria.
By defining and putting into operation a policy not only linked to "traditional" policies & procedures relating to aspects, such as Quality, Environment and Safety, Hoover (as part of the Hoover Candy Group) has been among the first big industrial group within Europe to embrace the ethos of Sustainable Development as a fully integrated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy and in 2003, after many years of work, Hoover Candy Group adopted the updating to its Environmental policy: (The Hoover Candy Group Environmental Policy):
For further information please click on the links below.