The origins of Fox can be traced back to Dublin in 1881 when James J. Fox took over the tobacconist’s business where he had previously been employed as manager. The Irish retail business survives to this day, and is still trading from the original shop at 119 Grafton Street.
Fox’s cigar retail business expanded into London in 1946, and in 1992 acquired the Robert Lewis shop, which dates back to 1787. The cigar shop, now one of the best known in the world, is located at 19 St. James Street, and the business also runs the tobacco concessions in both Harrods and Selfridges.
A H Copp Acquisition
Under the stewardship of Freddie Fox who had established a successful importing and distribution business in Ireland, a similar business, A H Copp Limited in Jersey, was acquired in 1968, and in 1974, the sales and distribution operation expanded into in Guernsey. In 1976, A H Copp Limited changed its name to JJ Fox International Limited.
Expansion into Confectionery
1985 saw the Fox Group expand into the confectionery business, through the acquisition of Wilkinson’s Confectionery Limited and later with the purchase of A J Mauger Agencies in 1988. This growth helped the firm to act as both agents and distributors for a wide range of internationally known brands, thus becoming the sole representative in the grocery and supermarket sector for many of our principals.
Vending & Further Diversification
The trading business was strengthened by the successful development of a vending division through the acquisitions of Channel Islands Vending, Vendworks Holdings Limited and Guernsey Vending Limited. More recently further diversification has been achieved through the acquisition of Pack and Wrap and Huelin Agencies in Jersey and A1 Distributors Limited in Guernsey to create a pan-island division supplying packaging, catering and hygiene products into the Islands’ hospitality and catering industry. As the trading business in the Channel Islands grew, a number of investments in office and warehousing projects both in the UK, Jersey and Guernsey were progressed. In 1999, the current Jersey head office and distribution centre at Rue des Pres, was built and is occupied by the business to this day.
Forming of JJ Fox Trading Limited
As the varied distribution, property and retail interests of the Fox Group grew over time it became impractical to manage them under a single Board, so the decision was taken in 2003 to allow the interests to develop under their own, more focused, management teams. A reorganisation of the group took place and JJ Fox Trading Limited was formed and are wholly owned by the original company, JJ Fox International Limited.