In 1940, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel invested $900 and bought the furniture, fixtures and inventory remnants of a small auto parts business from their uncle, Jacob Mandel, and started Premier Automotive Supply Company, which later became Premier Industrial Corporation as they diversified.
The three brothers began the company with the modest goal of making a better living for their families. They started by selling popular auto parts. In 1947, after service by two brothers in World War II, the Mandel brothers recognized that to succeed, they had to more fully satisfy the needs of their customers. They began asking their customers what parts were hard for them to find. This was the start of their “find a need and fill it” philosophy that would help propel the company’s growth for decades to come.
In 1960, Premier Industrial Corporation sold shares to the public and four years later, Premier was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Premier subsequently established earnings records in 34 of the following 36 years.
By the late 1960’s, Premier served over 100,000 customers in North America and Western Europe. In 1996, Premier merged with Farnell Electronics PLC, a British company, in a $3 billion transaction. The combined entity, Premier Farnell PLC, became one of the largest industrial and electronic component suppliers in the world. Morton Mandel served as Deputy Chairman from 1996 to 2002.