A MULTI award winning family-owned business has invested £1.7 million to fund the purchase and refurbishment of a new headquarters, warehouse and depot in Melton.
Hallmark Consumer Services, which specialises in providing e-commerce fulfilment services and innovative direct mail solutions, has bought the 42,000 sq ft facility in Saxby Road, previously occupied by Asfordby Storage and Haulage.
Aided by property agents Mather Jamie, the firm had spent 18 months looking for suitable new premises to support its ongoing expansion.
The new premises, about seven acres, will increase business efficiency with its substantial warehouse and storage facilities large enough for existing client stock and activities and with room for expansion.
It doubles the amount of storage space for the company, further increasing Hallmark’s efficiency in picking, packing and despatching orders, creating additional space to handle and store larger items for its clients as well as incorporating easy vehicular access for Hallmark’s growing logistics activities.
As a result of the move Hallmark plans to recruit eight new full-time workers, including two apprenticeships, within the next few weeks adding to its existing 55-strong work force.
Hallmark has experienced record turnover for the last three years, with double-digit growth and sales turnover rising to over £5.3m, representing an increase of 89 per cent over the three years since 2010.
This year the company won the blue riband Business of the Year title in the Melton Times Business Awards and also a Fastest Growing Family Business of the Year Award at the national Red Ribbon Awards.
Hallmark managing director Chris Hall, who founded the business in 1992, said: “The new premises are significant for a number of reasons.
“We have made the step to move from leasing premises to now owning this new facility. It provides us with not only the physical space to accommodate our substantial client activities but, significantly, it secures the company’s future.
“It’s the ideal location, only a short distance from our existing offices and warehouse, as well as being in the heart of the Midlands. It has excellent transport links and infrastructure and is near to a number of our blue chip clients too.”
The refurbishment, now underway, will convert the former cold store into a bespoke designed facility to meet Hallmark’s needs.
An additional 4,000 sq ft building will be dedicated to Hallmark’s contact centre and administration.
Mr Hall added: “It will be business as usual during the refurbishment and move, with no disruption to our operations or clients.”
The purchase has been part-financed by funding in excess of £1m from Barclays. The loan was offered under the Funding for Lending Scheme, through which Barclays offers a cashback element to its clients. Hallmark will receive up to £20,000, which will be used to support the moving costs.
Asfordby Storage and Haulage declined to comment at the time of going to press.
l Mr Hall is among 12 people shortlisted for an Institute of Directors Director of the Year Award (small and medium enterprise company). The UK finals are on Friday, October 11 in London.