Earlier this year we completed a very exciting project. Despite the challenging year faced by businesses across the UK and beyond, we progressed with a significant investment by commissioning and opening a 10,000 sq/ft fully operational warehouse two months ahead of schedule.
Our new warehouse is based in Kirkby Stephen, the same Cumbrian market town as our headquarters, and it will play a huge part in the business’s future-proofing plan to expand in order to better serve the hospitality industry and our wonderful customers’ needs.
When the Coronavirus pandemic hit the UK back in March 2020, those employed in the hospitality industry were undeniably amongst the hardest hit, with business closures across the country and an uncertain future for our industry as a whole.
While Out of Eden faced its own fair share of challenges, with the majority of our customers forced to close their doors immediately, our business continued trading throughout the lockdown period and maintained healthy stock levels at our existing facilities.
Supplying an excess of 2,500 product lines, our wide range of hospitality products has continued to grow throughout the year, with increasing demand to source and supply sanitising products, PPE and essential social distancing equipment.
When COVID hit and lockdown was imposed, we made the decision to press ahead with the construction of the new warehouse, a facility which would be capable of housing the majority of our stock and bring capacity for the many new product lines.
"There aren’t many construction projects that manage to hit their deadlines, let alone get completed ahead of schedule." Comments Janet Hartley, co-Founder of Out of Eden.
"Throw COVID into the mix and it really shows what a great achievement this has been for all involved. I’m so glad that we were already committed to the build when the coronavirus pandemic struck – if we were just having discussions or in the planning stages then there is a good chance we would have decided to pause the project.”
Janet's husband and co-founder of Out of Eden, Ian Hartley, adds: "The actual construction was completed at the end of March and it would have been easy to halt there, but we were in a position to press on with the racking and invest in new warehouse machinery. Sticking to our plan meant we were able to start taking in new stock and product lines nearly two months ahead of schedule.”
The whole project took just under a year from initial discussions and planning to completion and hand-over. The original target of late June 2020 was considered ambitious at the start, yet the facility was ready and operational in early May.
"Following an uncertain start to the year, we are delighted to be in this brilliant new warehouse, built to our specification and designed to meet our needs for today and the years ahead. It feels like the start of an exciting new chapter for Out of Eden." Comments Mike Gannon, Managing Director at Out of Eden.
"Such high order levels and demand for COVID-19 products meant an increased pressure on our logistics. Things would have been far more challenging without our new warehouse and the essential extra space it provided, and so we're really pleased to be celebrating such a success story during such an unpredictable time."
"This new warehouse is a testament to our commitment to future business growth and showcases our capability for serving each and every customer need, from bed and breakfasts and guest houses to larger scale hotel groups and cruise-liners. Combined with our premises on the northern edge of Kirkby Stephen, we can now boast 28,000 sq/ft of storage which holds our entire product catalogue."
Given the restrictions imposed on hospitality businesses and their inability to welcome guests during the lockdown months, we were still able to continue trading and fulfil orders whilst many of our competitors were having to temporarily cease trading.
A combination of the existing warehouse and the new building coming on-line meant that healthy stock levels could be maintained, allowing us to continue supplying customers with the products they need, exactly when they needed them.
"The hospitality sector has been through a horrendous time over recent months," says Mike, "and we all know that we’re not out of the woods yet. Our investment in this new warehouse means we can hold more stock lines and in greater volumes, building real resilience in the business and being ready to meet the needs of our customers.”