Midlands-based flooring manufacturer and retail firm Factory Direct Flooring (FDF) has invested in a new, purpose-built warehouse with state-of-the-art racking, bringing its entire operation under one site. The new 20,000 sq ft facility at Hemdale Industrial Park, Nuneaton is nearly 40 per cent bigger than its former main unit. This will enable FDF to achieve a 50 per cent increase in stock holding across all lines, as well as negating transportation between units, reducing environmental impact and creating efficiencies.
The warehouse purchase signifies the firm’s ramping up of operations in anticipation of another year of record sales, after high demand drove unprecedented growth in 2020. The additional space, not only in square footage but also as racking height has doubled, will facilitate cheaper prices for customers as a result of bulk buying power. Additionally, a reduction in delivery cost and lead time can be achieved: the innovative racking makes stock more accessible and picking therefore faster, accelerating dispatch by 24 hours or more.
In line with the growing popularity of collection services, FDF is also launching a purpose-built click and collect facility at the warehouse, with easy access and a large car park for loading, which will be available from May.
FDF founder and managing director, Paul Hambidge, explained: “This warehouse purchase is an exciting development which will enable us to really amplify our capabilities and take the business to the next level. The efficiencies we’ve created with the warehouse layout and processes will ensure that customers can access the flooring product they need, when they need it, and in the quantity they require – all while benefiting from lower prices.
“We have always been committed to listening to what our customers want and need, and to evolving the firm in line with consumer and market innovations. While the pandemic was of course a key driver for sales as customers directed income they might have spent on going out or on holiday, to home improvements, we were already ahead of the curve. We identified the significant growth in LVT, and particularly DIY products, over alternatives such as laminate or engineered wood options, and catered accordingly.”
Compared with 2019, the firm achieved 35 per cent growth in transactions in 2020 – a record growth year which looks to be exceeded in 2021 as transactions are already up by 30 per cent compared with the same period. The warehouse move has also created new jobs, as the company has increased its workforce by 25 per cent.
FDF has fast become a market leader in flooring supplies since its inception in 2008, thanks to its model of working closely with manufacturers to remove the ‘middleman’ and bring products direct to customers at competitive prices – all underpinned by exceptional service. The company serves retailers, commercial sites and residential customers throughout the UK, and supplies a wide selection of flooring products composed of wood, laminate, vinyl and LVT, including its own Aqua Plank range, the UK’s first engineered LVT flooring – which flew off the shelves in 2020.