Appleby Westward has announced a £10m capital investment programme that will focus on warehousing and stores over the next year.
The majority (£8.5m) of the investment will be used to build new warehousing along with the refurbishment of the existing warehouse and offices at its Saltash, Cornwall headquarters.
Meanwhile, £1.6m will be invested in the development of the company-owned stores estate, with a further £500,000 set aside for co-investment store development programmes for its independent Spar retailers as part of its plan to recruit 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.”
The warehouse investment includes plans for a chilled cross deck allowing the company to provide multi-temperature deliveries from its Saltash site and the Gregory Distribution facility at Cullompton.
The company-owned store investment follows work done by the business to improve 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, with a view to 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,” said Boardman. “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.”
It has also created a new divisional board to “strategically manage the company”.
Kelvin Beardsley has been appointed operations director, Lucie Coleman as retail director, and Duncan Jelfs as commercial director. Joe Keohane, group finance director, will join this new divisional board.
Boardman added: “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.”