A £25 million investment by the Henderson Group is set to prepare the business for the next phase of growth that has seen it double its workforce in the past decade.
The Mallusk based company which owns the SPAR, EUROSPAR, VIVO, VIVOXTRA and VIVO Essentials franchises across the province developing a new distribution centre, trailer park and head office facility.
This will replace the original structures that have been in place since 1974.
The investment is set to facilitate business growth and secure employment across all four companies within the Group. The firm currently employs 2,800 people.
One aspect of the new headquarters’ structure is already underway with the new office facility contract being awarded to the family-owned, Ballymena construction firm, Martin & Hamilton Construction.
A £4.5m refurbishment and extension of the existing building will double its size and bring many departments that are currently housed in different buildings into one central facility – thus creating a more efficient and contemporary environment.
The new main office facility is expected to be fully operational in October 2016.
In addition, £1.1m has already been invested in a new trailer park which houses Henderson Wholesale’s 92-strong distribution fleet.
Built by Portglenone business Hugh Griffin & Sons, also family-owned, the facility boasts extra charging points and fuelling and washing facilities which will help relieve congestion, reduce lead times and ultimately provide a more efficient distribution service for customers.
The firm has also purchased four new double decker lorries with compartments for both ambient and chilled products, further ensuring energy and logistic efficiency across the network.
Brothers Martin and Geoffrey Agnew, joint group MDs are confident the project will serve them well for the future.
“We make no secret that our profits are re-invested into the business,” said Martin.
“This major investment in the development of a new main office and distribution site shows our commitment to providing a better working environment for our employees, as well as a more efficient way of working to benefit our retailers and logistics department.
“We are confident this growth will bring future employment opportunities across all departments and companies that make up the Henderson Group.”
Geoffrey added, “We are delighted phase one of the development is well under way, and work will begin early in 2016 on the recently acquired Hydepark distribution warehouse that was purchased in 2014.
“This will see the beginning of our new warehouse developments to house Henderson Wholesale’s ambient range.
This move will ensure we can facilitate the continued and strong growth of our fresh and ambient departments across both Henderson Foodservice and Henderson Wholesale.
“We continue to adapt and grow in line with consumer changes, resulting in a special focus across our fresh ranges.
“Our fresh departments continue to source locally where possible so we can continue to provide the very best fresh, local products and produce to our customers, retailers and shoppers across Northern Ireland.”