In 2015, we invested an additional £1.5 million worth of stock at a selection of our sites to form super branches. We pushed more depth of range within same-day reach of our factor customers, with an initial focus on wear and tear service items. We later extended this, introducing product lines that take up space and are difficult to handle.
Where possible, we are maximising space at our branches, without increasing the existing footprint. This has been achieved through reorganising layouts and installing mezzanine floors, additional racking, and vertical storage units.
3 New Super Branches
We have always taken the view that if we put as much product as close to the factor as possible, it will reflect true demand and increase sales for us both. This year, we continue with this strategy, creating another 3 super branches in Southampton, Newcastle and Cardiff.
It was necessary for our Southampton branch to relocate premises from the Marine Parade area of the city to Hedge End before being given Super Branch status.
Almost £1 million was invested in this new branch, doubling the warehouse space and increasing the stock holding from £1.4 million to £1.8 million. By placing even more stock closer to our Southampton customers, approximately 4,000 additional parts are now available same-day.
Before taking on super branch status, our Newcastle branch also needed to be extended. The introduction of a new mezzanine floor in the warehouse created an additional 1,500 sq. ft. of space to house 4,000 more product lines.
We invested approximately £120,000 worth of stock into the Newcastle portfolio so even more of our customers’ needs could be serviced on a same-day basis.
Over the past 9 months, major alterations have also been made to our Cardiff branch to create another super branch. The Sales Office has been relocated from within the warehouse to the front of the building, and further racking has been installed in its place. Furthermore, by adding a mezzanine floor and replacing older racking with taller units, the branch can now accommodate an additional £100,000 worth of stock. Whilst the new office space and kitchen facilities has created a pleasant working environment for our staff.
It’s not just our super branches which are growing. This year, we have installed further racking at our Birmingham and Liverpool branches, whilst the layout of our Staples Corner branch has been reconfigured.
Movement at the National Distribution Centre
As well as increasing the number of parts held locally, we have expanded space at our National Distribution Centre by relocating our Inventory and Purchasing office and installing a mezzanine floor. We continue with this goal into 2016, as we extend the site by a further 16,000 sq. ft., reorganise the ground floor and install vertical storage units.
We are committed to staying at the forefront of availability and service. Our width of range, supported by an efficient internal replenishment process, means we can support even more of our customers’ needs on a same-day basis. With even more parts available locally, customers can rely on us as an extension of their own operations.