CJ Lang and Son Ltd. is one of the largest privately owned companies based in Scotland. The company has always been independently run by the family who founded it, and has always been focused on Scottish traditions.
CJ Lang and Son was founded in Dundee, Scotland by Charles (CJ) Lang. Prior to founding the business, CJ Lang was already learning about food and the industry while he worked for the grocery that his uncle owned.
In 1919, Lang bought Max Poulson’s business in the area of Dundee. During those days, both Canada and America offered very good opportunities for food import at very good rates. Holland also offered very good opportunities at the time and so Lang’s business imported Dutch cheese from the country. Soon, Lang’s business was not only known as a leading importer of cheese, it was also importing other products like corned beef. Lang imported products under the trade label “Stelma.”
Aside from cheese and corned beef, CJ Lang also got an agreement to supply “Middlemass” biscuits to local residents. The biscuits proved to be popular products to consumers, which added to the business’ profits and popularity. When CJ’s son joined his father in running the business starting in 1927, the company’s name was changed from “CJ Lang” to “CJ Lang & Son Ltd.”
Soon, as the business steadily grew, father and son started looking for possible expansion locations in Dundee. In 1960, the company joined with VIVO Group, and later merged with SPAR Great Britain by 1975. This merger proved a significant move for CJ Lang as it allowed the company further expansion. In 1982, CJ Lang bought G and P Merchants Limited, which increased SPAR’s coverage of distribution to more than 2/3 of Scotland, from the Borders to the Highlands. Soon, CJ Lang took over the management of the distribution of SPAR’s frozen food products. It also increased the number of SPAR stores to 108.
In 1993, CJ Lang and Son Ltd. was able to acquire the franchise for SPAR and put up SPAR Scotland. Around this time, CJ Lang became Scotland’s SPAR Wholesaler. In the same year, CJ Lang also acquired 18 Norco Supermarkets and then converted the stores to SPARs.
Currently, CJ Lang continues to grow dramatically and expand its retail business. It has now established itself as one of Scotland’s leaders when it comes to independent food retail and wholesale.
Ownership Type: Private, family owned
Employees: information not available
Demography: wholesale products consumers, retail products consumers