Wiltshire furniture retailer Furniturebox celebrates opening their state-of-the-art purpose-built warehouse in Chippenham with big plans for its continued growth through the use of the latest warehouse technology.
Furniturebox’s new warehouse has been a passion project culminating in a 15m tall building on an 88,000 square foot plot. The building is located on the M4 Chippenham junction, with a roof covered in solar panels, a bank of electric car charging points, 5 floors of stock storage and cutting-edge stock-picking technology.
Furniturebox’s Warehouse Operations Manager, Rob Dean, says: “The new warehouse has taken 18 months to build from the ground up. We came up with the concept for our innovative 5-floor pick tower ourselves to massively increase efficiency by almost 5 times. It will help us better serve our customers as we’ll be able to hold more stock, get it picked and shipped faster and offer a much later next-day delivery cut-off time of 8pm, which is later than any other furniture retailer in the UK. It’s incredibly exciting!”
The team have also invested considerably in brand new technology solutions. Head of eCommerce, James Ewens, says: “Our unit has been purpose-built for us. We brought in SSI Schaeffer to consult and supply the racking, who agreed with our pick tower concept and then provided the schematics for the building. We’ve also got ourselves a snazzy new Warehouse Management System via Peoplevox which will control the movement of stock around the warehouse and allow our operatives to pick, pack and ship items. It also allows for almost immediate identification of stock locations, which will change how we do stock takes and make those so much more efficient, too. It’s been a huge project and seeing it all come together has been amazing.”
One of Furniturebox’s logistics partners, BJS commented: “The Furniturebox story is utterly inspiring and BJS Two Man Delivery are proud to support their success, both now and in the future.” BJS Head of Sales, Neil Hannify.
Sustainable Business Plans
The new warehouse and headquarters for the company (branded fastest-growing business in the South West by the Sunday Times 100 for 2022) will be located at St. Modwen’s Park, Chippenham. It’s been incredibly important to the founders of Furniture to stay in Wiltshire. Founder Monty George says: “WIltshire is home for us, and we hope it will be for years to come. It’s been a real community effort to get to where we are now, and we want to give back to the local economy that helped us to grow in the first place.”
The new HQ will also be a step forward for the company’s sustainability goals, with plans to cover the whole roof in solar panels, 9 electric car charging points, staff sustainable travel initiatives including signing up to the Government’s cycle to work scheme, and reduced impact on the public from our courier vehicles due to the site’s close proximity to Junction 17 of the M4.
Co-Founder Dan Beckles says: “Growing our business sustainably is incredibly important. We want to try and do our best for the planet, so a lot of thought’s been put into the site layout and on reducing our carbon impacts with green initiatives. There’s lots of green space, too, so our staff can take walks during their lunch, eat outside, and socialise with other companies on the site.”
The Future Looks Bright
For a company that just 7 years ago was operating with two 17-year-olds out of a their parent’s homes in Salisbury, things are looking bright. Dan Beckles and Monty George now employ 52 staff across their Wiltshire and Bristol offices as well as the new Chippenham unit.
In fact, after winning Wiltshire Life Business of the Year twice, making it onto the Sunday Times 100 and Brightpearl Lightning 50 as fastest growing South-West business, and its founders being invited to join the Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ 2022 cohort, it seems this ‘local business done good’ isn’t about to slow down any time soon.