Early 1920s: In the USA, electronic parts distribution got its start with the advent of radio. The first radio shops opened in the early 1920's and quickly clustered on Cortlandt Street in the lower west side of Manhattan. This was dubbed "Radio Row." Some stores specialized in parts and surplus items, some in cabinets and others in fully assembled radios.
1934: Two entrepreneurial brothers, Sam and Abe Poncher, paid Hal Strauss $11,800 for a little side business he was running out of his tobacco shop selling spare parts for crystal radios. The innovations the Poncher brothers brought to this fledgling enterprise over the years to come earned them the title of "Fathers of Distribution." They named their business Newark Electric Company (after the site of the nation's first and largest radio station, which broadcast from Newark, New Jersey) and set up shop on State and Randolph Street, Chicago's "Radio Row." The Ponchers pioneered many of the manufacturer-distributor policies which exist today and which helped to formalize the distribution industry.
1947: The transistor was invented.
1948: The first edition of Newark's now famous catalog was published — 100 pages of products available through mail order. Today, this "Bible of the Industry" contains over 2,400 pages representing products from the world's finest manufacturers of electronic components and light electrical items.
1959: The invention of the integrated circuit in 1959 triggered what has been termed the "Second Industrial Revolution."
1960: Newark went public and was listed on the American Stock Exchange, and Newark's name was officially changed to Newark Electronics, reflecting the changes in the market and the products needed by customers.
1968: Premier Industrial Corporation, a New York Stock Exchange company based in Cleveland, Ohio, acquired Newark Electronics. The potential for profit and growth was clear. Under the guidance and vision of majority stockholders Jack, Joe and Mort Mandel, Newark experienced tremendous growth and expansion on the way to becoming the largest catalog electronics distributor in North America.
Early 1970s: Newark launched a very successful program to grow the business based on opening sales offices utilizing telemarketing as the primary selling method to reach customers. It propelled Newark from 23 small offices to over 70 larger sales branches in the U.S. and Canada. These proactive selling efforts and principles are still being used today.
1996: Premier Industrial Corporation joined forces with Farnell Electronics plc of Wetherby, England, to become Premier Farnell plc, listed on both the London and New York stock exchanges. The merger of these two electronics catalog giants moved Newark into the global electronics marketplace doing business in 20 countries with annual sales of over $1.5 billion. Today, Newark and Farnell comprise the Catalog Distribution Division of Premier Farnell plc, making us the largest electronics catalog distributor in the world.
Newark was ISO9002 certified by BSI Inspectorate. All major aspects of Newark's business were included in the ISO scope including the administrative offices, purchasing, inventory management, sales support functions and all sales branches and major distribution centers.
1997: Newark launched its first website.
1998: Newark started its eProcurement business. It soon becomes a successful program with hundreds of electronic transactions processed daily.
2002: Newark secured a General Services Administration (GSA) schedule and supports federal government customers through a dedicated website and a specially trained team of representatives.
2003: Newark Electronics renamed Newark with a commitment to serve customers' needs better than ever.
2007: Newark launched in Australia and New Zealand with dedicated websites for both geographies.