About Us

Leadership in Floor Care

Today Vax is the UK’s best-selling floor care brand and is the only UK floor care specialist to offer a comprehensive range of carpet cleaners, upright and cylinder vacuum cleaners, cordless, steam and hard floor cleaners to the consumer and commercial sectors.

The Vax brand was TTI’s first acquisition in 1999. It was established in 1977 by Alan Brazier, who set up a floor care factory in his hometown of Droitwich, Worcestershire.

 

Alan Brazier

An original thinker and entrepreneur, Brazier founded a contract cleaning company in the mid-seventies. After winning the tender to clean Newport Pagnell service station, he discovered that the carpet cleaning equipment available – boiling water and a board to scrape off the grease – needed improvement. His first machine and the forerunner to Vax’s iconic orange tub, was made with a water heater, a shower pump and a milk churn.

After this initial success, Brazier turned his thoughts to domestic users, focusing on a unique three-in-one machine that could wash, suck up spills, and vacuum carpets.

In 1977, he patented his invention and decided to manufacture it himself. The Vax-101 represented a significant advance on the technology of the time and went on to transform people’s house cleaning. It was launched in 1979 and is still going strong today.

Initially sold door to door, the product became available at retail outlets in 1982. Just five years later, supported by a national team of demonstrators, Vax became the best-selling vacuum cleaner brand in the UK.

However, by the mid-1990s, innovative competition and challenges with product and outsourcing led to a management shake-up. Brazier gave up operating responsibilities to become a non-executive director and a private investment company took over.

TTI saw the potential of Vax: its established position in the UK and Australian markets, its heritage of opportunity-spotting, reliable solutions, innovation and the personal touch that connects a brand to the people who buy its products were all attractive and in 1999,TTI acquired the company.

 

Broader horizons

TTI and its resources helped Vax to rapidly extend its reach and scope. Production was moved to China while local teams focused on sales, marketing, distribution and, most importantly, product development

Vax revitalized the carpet washing category with the launch of the Rapide range, which offered compact and larger-sized models for different types of homes. At the same time, it entered the dry floor care market with bagless vacuum cleaners across product ranges, that had a great response from consumers and have continued to spur overall growth.

This emphasis on product development helped Vax to competitively address the home care and budget needs of a wider range of consumers, gain a greater share of retail shelf space, and enjoy double-digit growth in market share.

 

Back at the top

Fresh synergies opened up with TTI’s acquisition of Hoover in 2007. Vax was able to launch a new range of heated upright cleaners for carpets, employing patented Dual V and Spin-Scrub technologies to strengthen its carpet washing portfolio and market share. By 2008, Vax had retaken the top spot as the UK’s leading floor care brand.

This year also saw the launch of the Mach family of vacuum cleaners, a great illustration of Vax’s rapid product development in action. The range began with the launch of an upright and cylinder vacuum cleaner in 2008, delivering multi-cyclonic suction power. The Mach Air ultra lightweight model was released just a year later. Positioned as “the lightest full-size multi-cyclonic upright vacuum cleaner in the world”, its compact and elegant design made it easy to carry and store while offering superior HEPA filtration and 1.5 liter dust capacity. A version suitable for pet hair collection was also produced at the same time. By 2010 these products had been joined by the Mach Air Reach, providing an extra-long hose and power cord for greater convenience. The Mach Air Total Home swiftly followed, offering the convenience of Reach with the added benefit of pet filtration and tools. All sat at different price points in the mid to high-end range, meeting different consumer needs.

 

The Future of Floor Care

2012 onwards saw a stronger working partnership with TTI North America, resulting in the launch of Air Cordless in 2014, a product that heralded a new beginning. Positioned as the first full-sized, cordless upright vacuum cleaner that will clean your whole home, Air Cordless provides the base for a cord-free revolution in floor care.

Historically, cordless has been challenging in floor care. A true full size cordless vacuum needs to deliver long enough run time to clean the whole house without compromising either cleaning performance or ease of use. The power to deliver strong continuous suction and a powerful brushbar for a sustained period of time is significant. The Air Cordless is an innovative footprint, establishing the combination of efficient and powerful motors, state of the art air path design, strong agitation and an optimized cyclonic separation system – all married with TTI expertise in battery technology to provide a category-breaking formula for success.

 

Still innovating for the consumer

The most searched for term on Google in floor care is cordless. Vax consumers say that they want cordless technology across all floor care but especially in the products they use frequently. They want cleaning to fit in with their busy life schedule not have their life scheduled around their cleaning. Air Cordless meets this challenge.

Vax has progressed from reliance on one major idea to a comprehensive category leader offering the widest range of floor care in the industry. Now it is positioned to take floor care into the future.

It has risen to the top amid a fiercely competitive market through an effective alliance of brand enterprise, strategic management, and TTI Group input. As part of TTI’s floor care division, Vax continues to benefit from technology developments within the division, and the Group at large, as well as contributing to overall advances. Such a combined approach has tapped into Vax’s earliest strengths, led it back to its original role as a market-leading brand, and positioned it to deliver even greater value to its customers and the Group in the years ahead.