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5th October 2017, Stockport

Rowlinson buys new site to support expansion

Donald Moore, Managing Director of Rowlinson Knitwear. © Rowlinson KnitwearRowlinson Knitwear, one of the largest personalised schoolwear manufacturers in the UK, has purchased new 76,000 square foot premises with support from a multi-million funding package from HSBC.

Established in 1935, Rowlinson specialises in selling high quality polo shirts, sweatshirts and knitwear to independent schoolwear retailers throughout the UK. After years of strong growth and rising demand for its products, the business says it outgrew its current twin premises, located in a former mill in Stockport.

“Our expansion plans will include a massively increased capacity for stockholding, which is critical for us as a schoolwear supplier particularly during the busiest season, which is Back to School,” explained Donald Moore, Managing Director of Rowlinson Knitwear.

"Aligned with this, we’re aiming to increase our market share by increasing our existing penetration of the UK schoolwear retail market, and winning new retail customers too. We also wanted to give our people a more comfortable and modern office environment – our current premises are cramped, so we’ve simply outgrown them and would struggle to fit in new recruits."

Significant refurbishments

Rowlinson Knitwear bought the new 76,000 square foot property, located at Discovery Park, Stockport, for a seven-figure sum. The new premises are about three miles from the current sites, which have been sold to a local distribution company.

The business also intends on completing significant refurbishments to the premises, including installing new site security and modifications to its layout. The significant investment in the property will allow the firm to expand its logistics capabilities, particularly during peak times, as well as providing improved working areas for its 50 staff.

HSBC provides seven-figure funding package for new premises. © Rowlinson Knitwear

“As our company has grown massively in the last two years, we faced multiple obstacles to growth with our previous two site setup. Not only was the small size of the sites restricting our ability to increase our stock but it was also inefficient as our staff were split between the two. Our new premises will solve these challenges and form a strong foundation in which we can continue to win market share and provide a great place to work for our staff,” said Mr Moore.

Proximity

The geographical location of the warehouse played a significant role in the acquisition. “We are employee owned and we wanted to minimise disruption to our service to our customers, and as the majority of our people live locally, we wanted to minimise the stress and potential for additional costs of getting to and from work,” explained Mr Moore. “We have a comprehensive project plan already underway for moving to the new premises, and everyone in the Rowlinson team is looking forward to moving in.”

“We have a long-term relationship with the business after we supported it in becoming majority employee owned in 2015,” commented Jason Trigg, HSBC’s Area Director for Manchester. "We are therefore delighted to be part of Rowlinson Knitwear’s relocation to new and improved premises. We look forward to seeing the business grow and our continued support demonstrates our appetite to back local businesses in Stockport and beyond."

www.rowlinson-knitwear.com

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