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The Changing World of Ecommerce

The COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has seen ecommerce in the UK become a high demand business opportunity for retailers. The Office for National Statistics reported that UK online retail sales increased to 30.1% of all sales in November 2021, an increase from 21.6% against the same month in 2019.

It will come as no surprise that as result it has had a significant impact on the warehouse industry. A recent report by Colliers shows that approximately 50.7 million sq ft of large distribution warehousing space were taken in 2021, a 3.6% increase on the previous year.

With this trend looking set to continue, we want to show retailers how they can rethink their operations to expand storage capabilities.


The Ecommerce Warehouse

Optimising the design of your fulfilment activities and correct throughput of goods are key to meeting customer expectations and growing your business. Put simply, the right product, picked and delivered as quickly as possible.

Even the range of warehouse options available has changed. Retailers can now choose everything from micro-fulfilment hubs providing instant deliveries all the way through to megasheds for ‘just-in-case’ storage and 3PL. With so many options available adopting a ‘one size fits all model’ can lead to lost opportunities.

This is how Whittan can help. We have over 70 years’ experience working with retailers to create bespoke, integrated solutions that meets the needs of their business. With SKU storage, management and picking solutions we can help you reduce operating costs, improve inventory control, maximise the pick process while also ensuring your system is future-proofed.

Whether your requirement is for bulk stockroom storage or individual pick from rear of store, garment hanging or flat pack storage we offer a wide range of integrated, modular systems that can support your current logistics and grow with future demand.


Create Extra Space in Your Warehouse

Demand for warehouse space is at a premium. Whether you are moving into a new facility or wanting to increase storage in your current facility you need to ensure you are maximising every available area. By thinking vertically, we can deliver the extra storage space you need within the existing footprint of your building.

Our free standing Pick Towers do not affect the structure of the building, making them acceptable to landlords, and can range from a simple ground plus one solution up full height capacity at ground plus four level. As an integrated solution the towers easily incorporate an almost endless list of systems including conveyor solutions, lifts, picking systems, pallet gates, or fire protection.

Breakout box - A ground plus 3 level pick tower can increase storage capacity by 300% in the same footprint or could reduce a new build by up to 75% in size.


How we helped Boden

When Boden needed to move into a new 250,000 sq ft distribution warehouse in Leicestershire they asked Apex to create an optimum storage solution that would meet current and future needs for the business.

We opted for a multi-tier racking solution that provides storage capacity for approximately 234,000 boxes and 4,900 linear metres of hanging garments. Rising to a height of thirteen metres, the racking has been designed as a grid of eight blocks separated by 3m wide aisles running the length and width of the structure. Each block consists of fourteen runs of eight bays apiece separated by a small walk-through halfway that has optimised performance through the creation of ‘pick zones’.


Through careful planning and design of the warehouse Apex were able to improve productivity and efficiency. A new multi-SKU returns process was implemented which meant that returned garments could be back in stock in 45 minutes as opposed to the 2.5 days it took at their previous warehouse. The design of the structure has also made provision for future capacity, amounting to 238,000 carton locations – approximately the same capacity of their old warehouses combined.


Get in touch

With scalable solutions there’s no better name than Whittan to handle all your storage solution needs. Call 01952 682251 or email to get your free consultancy and design service booked.

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