Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s second quarterly Back of Store feature. Hot on the heels of the Easter break, we have the Early May Bank Holiday. As QI fans will know, the May Day tradition didn’t start with the Soviets and parades in Red Square, it’s rooted in our pre-Christian culture, with maypole dancing and all that. Of course now millions of Brits prefer to spend the holiday in that twenty first century form of worship, shopping.

chazWhich brings us to the Back of Store, and that crucial function, warehousing and logistics. Rain or shine, holiday or work day, the retail warehouses keep on working calmly and the supply chains keep on moving. In this issue we’ve another crop of news stories from the equipment and services suppliers, to help you keep informed and make decisions about purchases for your back of store operations.

SSI Schaefer, market leader in automated supply chain solutions has signed a contract to deliver a new National Distribution Centre for Sainsbury’s. The NDC at Crick, Northants will hold Sainsbury’s entire general merchandise range and store 220,000 pallets when full. The site will service over 550 stores nationally every day delivering 2.4 million units per week at full capacity.

The Schaefer system consists of an automated high-bay, double deep pallet storage system feeding product to picking areas via a combination of inverted monorail and pallet conveyor. The process is controlled by a Schaefer bespoke Warehouse Control System fully integrated with Sainsbury’s own JDA Warehouse Management System.

Also in this feature, leading transport and logistics specialist, Knights of Old Group, has signed a three-year contract with long term customer Virani Foods, that will see them provide a full logistics service for the premium ethnic ingredient manufacturer. The contract is worth £1.5m. Having worked with Wellingborough-based Virani for over 20 years, Knights of Old is proud to be increasing its services from distribution only to warehousing and logistics. It will now be transporting over 15,000 pallets a year UK-wide and storing over 1,200 in a new racking system, purpose built for Virani, at its Northampton depot.

Printers are another important part of the Back of Store scenario. BillyOh, the rapidly growing wooden garden buildings manufacturer, is reporting a significant improvement in the speed and quality of its despatch process thanks to their new Toshiba TEC B-EX4T1 printer, printing customer despatch labels and stock labels at up to 14 inches per second. BillyOh, a brand name of Kybotech Ltd, is now one of the UK’s largest wooden garden building specialists selling via large retailers such as Homebase, Argos and Tesco. Kybotech operates the specialist garden sheds website Garden Buildings Direct along with a garden furniture website Simply Garden Furniture and a barbecues website Flaming Barbecues, where BillyOh products are also sold.

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