Pottery-giant Emma Bridgewater has revealed plans to open a huge new warehouse in the city.
The company is moving part of its operations to a new 70,000 sq ft distribution centre at Meir Point, off Whittle Road, in the spring.
The firm currently operates from a factory on Lichfield Street in Hanley – where it produces more than 44,000 pieces of pottery every week – and a distribution centre on the Berryhill Trading Estate, in Fenton.
As part of the plans, manufacturing will remain at the Hanley factory and the existing distribution centre in Fenton will be repurposed and turned into an additional manufacturing site.
The new warehouse in Meir will accommodate the increasing volumes of products Emma Bridgewater is producing.
It will be the company’s new site for distribution and despatch to customers and more than 500 stockists, as well as larger retailers such as John Lewis and Liberty London and the company’s own shops in Stoke-on-Trent and Bicester Village in Oxfordshire.
The company – which was established in Stoke-on-Trent in 1985 – says the move comes in response to continued strong demand within the UK and around the world.
All of the company’s customer service team will remain based at the Berryhill distribution centre.
Operations director Graham Bolton said: “The appeal of the brand’s designs continues to grow, generating strong sales over the past three years with more of our Stoke-on-Trent-made pottery and other products being despatched across the world.
“Securing a larger distribution facility was a top priority for the business last year and we are delighted to be moving our warehouse operations to the new centre at Meir Point in the spring which will further improve our service to all our customers and support our excellent team to work even more efficiently.
“Our existing warehouse at Berryhill will be put to alternative use supporting our expanding production operations.”
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Emma Bridgewater employs in excess of 350 people at its sites in Stoke-on-Trent and London and has an annual turnover of around £20 million.
Last year the company secured an £8 million investment from The British Growth Fund (BGF) to support its growth plans for the UK and internationally.
The firm said the cash boost will help to increase capacity at its Stoke-on-Trent factory and explore new international markets.
Over the past three years, the company has seen an increase in demand for its hand-made pottery in countries such as China, the US and Europe.