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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Lakeland plans £10m expansion and 600 new jobs

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KENDAL based kitchenware company Lakeland is planning a £10 million investment that could create 600 new jobs.

Its distribution centre in Kendal will be expanded, and 60 high street locations nationwide are soon to be joined by new stores in Milton Keynes, Wimbledon and Stirling as well as a second store in Edinburgh.

It is planning to grow this number by as much as 50 per cent over the next 5 years to around 100 UK stores.

Business is booming for the firm with 2012 sales said to the best in the company’s 60-year history, partly due to the resurgence of home baking.

With demand for its products growing rapidly and the popularity of the Lakeland brand at an all-time high, the company see this investment as a necessity in order to allow further growth at home and abroad.

The decision to develop the Lakeland Distribution Centre in Kendal is designed to support Lakeland’s planned growth in the UK and internationally.

Development of the Kendal site has been on-going for several years however and it has now reached a stage where the directors have committed to the £10 million build, and are seeking tenders from a small number of selected construction companies based in the north west of England.

The Kendal site is seen as the engine room of the company, with goods ordered via its website and from its range of catalogues picked, packed and posted to customers from this location.

Crucially, it is also from here that they supply its ever-increasing network of stores, nationally and internationally.

Managing Director Sam Rayner said: “We have an incredibly loyal and industrious workforce here in Cumbria.

“It is right for us to expand here. The company was founded in the Lake District and that is where our heart is. The infrastructure is already in place and it makes perfect sense for us to take this exciting step and to expand in this way.”

At present Lakeland stocks over 4,000 products, as well as introducing around 1,000 brand new lines each year, and as the business has grown, so has the need for expansion at this site.

Summer 2013 will see the Lakeland brand launched in Germany with a dedicated website and catalogues for the German market.

Operations Director Gary Marshall added: “New jobs will be created over time as this facility is brought on line in 2014, further adding to our workforce that has been increasing throughout the UK.”

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