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Retailer bucks the trend with plans to close Brexit stockpile warehouse

PUBLISHED: 13:47 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:16 02 September 2019

Aldiss in Fakenham is closing a warehouse it opened to stockpile for Brexit. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Aldiss in Fakenham is closing a warehouse it opened to stockpile for Brexit. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

Well-known retailer Aldiss will close a Brexit stockpile warehouse over the coming weeks, despite uncertainty still looming.

Darryl Simpson, managing director at Aldiss. Picture: Ian BurtDarryl Simpson, managing director at Aldiss. Picture: Ian Burt

The firm rented a 5,000 square-foot warehouse on George Edwards Road, in Fakenham, last autumn. Their stockpile was meant to guard against disruption caused to supply chains as the UK planned to leave the European Union.

Darryl Simpson, the store's managing director, said: "I understand closing the warehouse may be contrary to what other companies are doing right now, but there is some reasoning behind our position.

"When making plans for 2019 at this time last year, we had to consider the potential impact to supply as we approached the original Brexit deadline of March 29.

"This deadline was critical to us for two reasons. First, it was smack bang in the middle of our spring promotional period and any supply issues would have had a negative impact. Therefore, we had to stockpile our key product lines, particularly those from overseas, to cover this risk.

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"Second, we had scheduled the delivery of seven 40-foot shipping containers of outdoor furniture to arrive around this time. We simply wouldn't have the space in our existing distribution centre to stockpile further goods."

After the original Brexit date was postponed, Mr Simpson said the summer months allowed the firm to sell the furniture, freeing up space and giving suppliers time to better prepare.

"Much of the stockpile is being released to our stores to be sold off during September to make sure we are out of the temporary warehouse on time.

"Because we bought in bulk earlier in the year as part of stockpiling, the good news is we had the double advantage getting large order discounts from our suppliers, and the goods were bought when the foreign currency exchange rate was more advantageous.

"All of this means we can sell these goods at a reduced price to ensure they are cleared on time."

Mr Simpson said the closure would not mean any job losses among their 190 staff. He said the business was holding up well despite the downturn in retail. Mr Simpson said: "In fact, clearing out our stockpiled products may even give us an additional sales boost in September."

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