In another tough year for retail in the UK, some retailers are continuing to thrive despite challenging and changing conditions.
One is B&M, the leading value retailer, which has a rapid growth plan, adding to its 600 plus stores across the country.
Supporting B&M’s confident strategy is a new, one million square foot distribution warehouse.
Pentadel Project Management has overseen this monumental task, delivering a complex, comprehensive warehouse space, which emphasises the key role distribution plays in modern retail.
“This has been one of our biggest and most challenging projects to date, bringing together a team of more than 300 highly experienced contractors to deliver a distribution hub that will support B&M’s rapid growth across the UK,” states James Kemp, Managing Director of Pentadel Project Management.
A Warehouse Fit for the Future
The B&M warehouse is located close to Bedford, and is set to open in spring 2020.
Pentadel took over responsibility for the original building in January 2019, when it was an empty shell.
Phase one of the fit-out is now complete, with the remainder of the work due to finish in 2020. Then the warehouse will go into full operation, supporting B&M’s large network of stores.
The warehouse superstructure is one of the UK’s biggest buildings. It will contain a huge warehouse and distribution facility, incorporating state of the art technology.
It will also have 160,000 cubic metres of freezer and chill storage, and a further 500,000 cubic metres of pallet racking.
There are three robotic shrink wrapper systems and a 2,500 metre square recycling area.
The facility will have its own bespoke IT system, which will ensure it runs at maximum efficiency.
“Delivering this project on schedule and to the highest standards has been achieved thanks to our Pentadel Partner Programme which all our contractors sign up to. This has meant a collective focus on quality and the environment and everyone working respectfully together as one team.”
Why is Distribution Key to Retail Success?
The retail landscape in the UK is shifting. It does not necessarily, however, mean the end of retail as we know it.
But there will be winners and losers. B&M’s success is down to it being able to offer a wide range of goods, at very competitive prices. It offers reliability over sleekness, but it can only do this with the kind of sophisticated, highly efficient distribution that supports consumer demand.
At the same time, this distribution must enable physical retailers to compete in a marketplace increasingly dominated by online giants such as Amazon, who have revolutionised what modern distribution looks like.
“We’ve overseen the on-time delivery of a vast warehouse and distribution hub that offers B&M an efficient, agile and sustainable operation for current and future growth,” Pentadel’s James Kemp concludes.