Clipper Logistics

Clipper Logistics plc is a retail logistics company based in Leeds which serves retailers selling fashion, tobacco, alcohol and other high-value goods in the UK and Europe. It has 47 sites across Europe.[5]

Clipper Logistics plc
Founded1992; 29 years ago (1992)
FounderSteve Parkin
Key people
Revenue £500.7 million (2020)
£31.2 million (2020)
£16.2 million (2020)
Number of employees
8,037 (2020)
  • Servicecare Support Services Limited
  • RepairTech Limited
  • Northern Commercials (Mirfield) Limited
  • Stormont Truck and Van Limited
Footnotes / references

Clipper has been a sponsor of Leeds United football club since 2017.[6]



Steve Parkin founded Clipper Group in 1992 with one van delivering clothing for fashion stores. The company won a number of contracts in the early years with retailers such as Huddersfield-based Bonmarché and Sir Philip Green which helped it to become established in the transport, haulage and warehousing market.[7]


The company made a number of acquisitions in the 2000s including DTS logistics Ltd, Gagewell Transport Ltd and Northern Commercials (Mirfield) Ltd [8]

Stock Market Entry

In 2014 the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of £100 million.

Takeover Attempt

In November 2019, investment fund Sun Capital Partners, Inc. announced it was considering making a bid for the company, supported by founder and executive Chairman Steve Parkin. Discussions regarding a possible offer took place between the parties, and the views of a number of independent Clipper shareholders were sought. However, the board and Sun Capital were unable to agree terms, consequently, both sides agreed to terminate discussions.[9]

Coronavirus pandemic support

In March 2020, the company was given a contract by the NHS Supply Chain for the delivery of personal protective equipment to NHS trusts and care homes.[10] This was considered to be controversial amid a scandal over the appointment of COVID-19 contracts in the United Kingdom and alleged cronyism in the British government, as Parkin is a top Conservative Party donor who has attended Leader's Group meetings ("the premier supporter Group of the Conservative Party") and donated £725,000 to the Conservative Party.[11] The company reported 38.2 percent rise in interim pre-tax profits aided by "a successful Black Friday weekend" and was helped by a "significant increase in supporting Supply Chain Co-ordination (NHS) with the storage and distribution of PPE", processing "over 7.4 billion items of PPE on the NHS contract".[12]


In May 2020, the company donated a refrigerated trailer to the food bank run by Leeds United Foundation and Leeds City Council.[13]



It operates a distribution centre for Superdry in Burton-upon-Trent which is to be equipped with 46 Hikrobots, 1,000 transportable pick-wall modules and twelve pick-to-light stations.[14]

John Lewis

In 2016 Clipper and John Lewis Partnership formed a joint venture now knows as Clicklink Logistics Limited to provide click & collect services to high-street retailers[15]


In June 2020 it was announced that clipper would be taking over the logistics operation for Arcadia Group from the current provider DHL. DHL decided not to renew the contract with Arcadia in a strategy designed to move away from low margin high risk contracts.[16]

Corporate Affairs


Companies Finances
YearRevenue (£m)Operating Income (£m)Net Profit (£m)
2016[17] 290.33 14.53 10.34
2017[18] 340.13 17.47 12.47
2018[19] 400.12 20.83 14.28
2019[20] 460.17 19.48 13.41
2020[21] 500.67 31.43 16.19

Board of directors

  • Steve Parkin (Executive Chairman)
  • Tony Mannix (Group Chief Executive Officer)
  • David Hodkin (Chief Financial Officer)

Share holders

As of 20 August 2020 the most significant share holders in the company are:

  • Carlton Court Investments Limited (24.71%) (Steve Parkin's Company) [22]
  • Liontrust Asset Management (18.31%) [22]
  • Global Alpha Capital Management (12.58%) [22]
  • SOMLIE Limited (6.32%) [22]
  • Unicorn Asset Management (5.67%) [22]
  • Summit Limited (4.92%) [22]


Staff at the company warehouse in Ollerton, Nottinghamshire complained in March 2020 that they were "crammed into corridors" and given no hand sanitiser.[23]


  1. "Annual Report (2020)" (PDF). Clipper Logistics plc. 24 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  2. "Team Members". Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  3. "Yahoo Finance CLP.L". Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  4. "Companies House Company Profile". Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  5. "Clipper Logistics CEO: We're 'agile and able' and the crisis has demonstrated our capabilities". Proactive Investor. 24 April 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  6. "CLIPPER EXTENDS LEEDS UNITED SPONSORSHIP DEAL". 10 March 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  7. "PARKIN'S ROUTE TO SUCCESS..." Yorkshire Post. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  8. "This year starts well for Clipper Logistics Group". 18 May 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  9. "The price wasn't right: sun capital pulls out of clipper logistics takeover". The Load Star. 20 January 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  10. "Retail logistics firm put in charge of crisis-hit PPE deliveries". Health Service Journal. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  11. Ahmed, Nafeez (2 April 2020). "Disaster Capitalism: Conservative Party Donor Cashes in on UK Government-Made PPE Shortages Amidst COVID-19 Crisis". Byline Times. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  12. Gosden, Emily (4 December 2020). "PPE contract puts wind in Clipper's sails". The Times. Retrieved 5 December 2020. (subscription required)
  13. "Clipper Logistics partners with Leeds United to support Food bank". SHD Logistics. 1 May 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  14. "Superdry ramps up robotics in Burton DC with Hikrobot". Logistics manager. 6 May 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  15. "John Lewis and Clipper Logistics form joint venture company to deliver click and collect services". 3 November 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  16. "Clipper Logistics to replace DHL Supply Chain on Arcadia Group contract". 16 June 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  17. "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  18. "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  19. "Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  20. "Annual Report 2019" (PDF). Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  21. "Annual Report 2020" (PDF). Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  22. "Annual Report Significant holders, P. 68" (PDF). Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  23. "Coronavirus: Clothing warehouse 'putting lives at risk'". BBC. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.