Spar wholesaler Appleby Westward has announced a £8.5m project to build new warehousing along with the refurbishment of the existing warehouse and offices at its Saltash, Cornwall headquarters. This will run alongside a £1.6m programme to invest in the development of the company-owned stores estate.
The business has also set aside £500k for co-investment store development programmes for its independent Spar retailers and is targeting the recruitment of 35 stores to the business this year.
“A warehouse extension will be built on the land we own adjacent to our current warehouse buildings,” said Mike Boardman, Appleby Westward’s managing director. “In addition to the new building, we will be improving on-site car parking, redesigning and refitting the office facilities and modernising the existing warehouse buildings. This is a major capital investment and reflects not just our recent rapid growth but also our ambitions for the future.”
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Among new warehousing facilities will be a chilled cross deck allowing the company to provide multi-temperature deliveries from its Saltash site and the Gregory Distribution facility at Cullompton. “This will enable us to provide an excellent service to independent customers and company-owned stores for years to come,” said Boardman.
The investment in its 140-strong company-owned stores estate comes on the back of a major investment in improved refrigeration in selected stores over the last year. The 2023 capital expenditure programme aims to improve the fabric of stores for both customers and store staff, ensuring back of house facilities are upgraded and redecorated. Additional investment is planned to help grow the company-owned stores estate, securing better commercial deals as it expands and providing new job opportunities in local areas.
“These projects demonstrate our continued success and intention to grow the business over the coming years,” he added. “It will help us to remain at the heart of our communities, help more independent customers to flourish with us as a partner and to provide more job opportunities and career development for our colleagues.”
Elsewhere in the business, it has created a new divisional board to strategically manage the company, with Kelvin Beardsley appointed operations director, Lucie Coleman as retail director, and Duncan Jelfs as commercial director.
Boardman said: “This move is designed to strengthen the senior management structure within the Appleby Westward Group to reflect both the rapid sales growth within the organisation and the increasing complexity of our operations.
“All members of the new divisional board will report to me and will assume responsibility of corporate governance, strategic planning and budget setting, together with the delivery of key projects and profit and loss management. Joe Keohane, group finance director, will join this new divisional board.”