Founder of long-established Dudley business passes away

The founder of a long-established Dudley shopfitting business has died at the age of 80.

The Alan Nuttall Partnership’s former chairman Alan David Nuttall passed away on Sunday, September 11, in hospital following a short illness.

Nuttall served the business for 56 years before taking a less active role this year.

His story of small beginnings started in 1966 when he launched – with just £137 – Alan Nuttall Ltd specialising in greengrocery shopfitting.

A keen innovator, he was inspired by the self-service fruit shops he saw in the US and developed the UK’s first ever self-service system for fruiterers in 1975. A year later, this led him to create Fruity Fruits, which went on to be the largest independent fresh produce wholesale and retail business, employing 650 people in the UK when it was sold to Birmingham Co-op in 1989.

Among his many achievements, Nuttall celebrated two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, awarded twice in the Innovation category – first in 2005 and again in 2022. He also met Queen Elizabeth II and members of the Royal Family at the opening event for one of his landmark shopfitting projects for Fortnum & Mason.

He leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Jacqueline, as well as two daughters, a grandson and great grandson.

Matt Hornblower, CEO of Nuttall, said: “It is more important than ever to acknowledge Alan’s commitment to creating a partnership that recognises the team of talented and dedicated individuals who can continue to drive it forward. The steps we have taken together with him in recent years towards becoming employee-owned have ensured that, long-term, the business is in safe hands – those of its passionate partners.”


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