The next major transformation came in 1968 when an IBM computer was installed to cope with the vast
amount of clerical work generated by the expanding business and a major refurbishment of warehousing
took place, installing conveyor systems controlled by computer systems.
Eventually the company began to distribute goods themselves and depots were set up around the country,
as well as reducing costs, the company was protected from the industrial unrest of the seventies that saw
major disruptions to the postal services.
In 1972 Joseph Fattorini stepped down as Chairman to become joint vice chairman with his cousin James.
Mick Wells took over as Chairman.
Mick Wells proved to be an entrepreneur of exceptional ability and many of the practices he developed
continue to this day. In 1955 he instigated the morning post conference, were members of the board and
senior managers meet each morning to read the post from agents, thus keeping up to date with problems
and concerns 'on the ground' as they happen.
As the Fattorini family gradually reduced their shareholding in the business, financial control of the
company was in the hands of City institutions, banks and pension funds.
However the principals of business success for Empire Stores continues to this day, good value for money,
personal service to customers, a progressive outlook and good relationships with staff, many of whom retire
after 25 years service.
Empire Store now has an online presence in line with the huge growth in the internet. Customers can now browse
the whole catalogue online and order electronically 24 hours a day.
Empire Stores Catalogue at catalogue connection to view the highlights from the current
catalogue, this site also reviews all the home shopping mail order catalouge websites available in the UK.