With its head office in Yorkshire, Clipper provides value added third party logistics services to many sectors with a particular presence in retail fashion, retail consolidation centres and organisations involved in higher value products.
Founded in 1992, the retail logistics specialist has since grown both organically and by acquisition, working in partnership with many leading high street retailers. The company operates from 39 locations throughout the UK and Europe and has a peak workforce of up to 5,000 employees.
Clipper has a unique understanding of the needs of fashion retailers, mail order catalogues and online businesses and has introduced cost-efficient semi-automated warehousing and advanced stock management systems, which allow the seamless coordination of retail and e-fulfilment operations. Furthermore the company is of sufficient scale and ability that it can provide solutions to meet all needs, whilst being small and agile enough to remain close to the customer.
Clipper were appointed by LoveKnitting to handle worldwide e-fulfilment of their products, and to manage the significant growth plans for the popular brand. The contract includes the fulfilment of yarns, patterns, needles and other knitting accessories for the online business. The operation is serviced from an existing Clipper e-fulfilment centre in Worsley, Manchester, providing a total 153,000 sq ft of capacity, including a 53,000 sq ft mezzanine floor.
The new facility provides LoveKnitting with a required expansion capability, greater flexibility, and the ability to react quickly to peaks and seasonal sales fluctuations. The move also allows the business to stock more lines and offer greater customer choice.
Requiring a flexible storage solution to meet LoveKnitting’s ambitious plans, Clipper prepared a 3-year operational plan that accounted for SKU growth and product measurements so that future storage capacity could be estimated. Thereafter Link 51 was asked to design a shelving solution that maximised the allocated warehouse space and provided the required capacity. Following the submission of Link 51’s solution, Clipper approached two other storage system specialists as a comparison and, on this basis, Link 51 were awarded the contract.
Currently occupying a ground floor 23,000 sq ft footprint, Clipper’s space utilisation projections for LoveKnitting see an increase to 27,000 sq ft by end 2015 and a further increase to 35,000 sq ft by end 2016.
As Clipper had ‘phased’ the shelving to be installed in conjunction with LoveKnitting’s growth plans, Link 51’s shelving solution had to provide complete flexibility, with extensions being added to create extra runs as required. To meet this requirement, Link 51’s solution was based on the installation of fixed back-to-back Stormor Solo and Euro shelving, providing the perfect answer for growing storage specifications.
As the majority of LoveKnitting products required large quantities of ‘pigeon-hole’ bins for various yarn SKUs and patterns, adjustable shelf dividers were used to divide shelves horizontally into smaller compartments.
In addition, Clipper utilised Link 51’s louvre panels and spigots, which proved ideal for the storage of knitting needles and other accessories.
“Link 51’s expertise in delivering tailored storage solutions made them a natural choice for us, and we have developed a great working partnership with them. They have always reacted to our needs, communicated well and ultimately look after our requirements.” – Eric Mullen, Depot Manager (Worsley) Clipper Logistics plc
For more information about this project or to ask one of our experts about your storage needs, call 0800 169 5151.