EP Barrus opens £2.5m garden tools distribution centre

Wilkinson Sword and WOLF-Garten distributor opens new facility

Barrus has officially opened its new £2.5m Garden Tools Distribution Centre at their Bicester head office in Oxfordshire.

The Tools Distribution Centre was opened by Gabriella Hart and Olivia Newall, the granddaughters of Robert Glen, chairman of E. P. Barrus, who is the grandson of the company’s founder, E. P. Barrus. Also in attendance were Oxfordshire high sheriff Tony Stratton, Sir Tony Baldry MP, local councillors, members of the Glen family, business partners and customers.

The building has six new computer-controlled parts picking machines and other upgrades to the production and servicing areas.

The Tools Distribution Centre is a clear span building and provides dedicated storage for WOLF-Garten garden hand and powered tools and Wilkinson Sword garden tools. The facility services 1,500 outlets including garden centres, garden machinery specialist dealers and  national retailers with 400 individual product lines available. Barrus aims for the latter part of the 2014 season for 70 per cent of all orders to be processed electronically.

The Kardex Shuttles, the latest technology in automated high bay storage and handling systems, are capable of carrying 22,000 product lines with a combined capacity of around 17 tonnes. The main distribution facility has moved from Bicester Garrison to the former RAF/USAF base at Upper Heyford.

Managing director Robert Muir said: "The garden tool business has gone from strength to strength for Barrus since the introduction of the WOLF-Garten brand in 2009 and Wilkinson Sword in 2010. Our modern, new facility and the investment in spare parts systems will assist in increasing our efficiencies and more importantly the service we provide to all our customers.

"Thanks to the continued support of our customers, I am delighted to announce that at our half year point our sales are over 30 per cent up on last year across the company."

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