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I would like to update you on some changes we are making at Midland Chandlers. Over the last 12 months we have seen a move away from traditional over the counter retail sales and as a result the footfall in the Penkridge branch location has fallen away to the point where we feel it’s the right time to close the branch, and invest into an improved service from Century Park.
The Penkridge branch has a long history. It opened in 1979, when Peter Jones acquired the Teddesley Boatyard site (which still operates next door) and decided to open a chandlery, calling it Midland Chandlers. He later developed the site and added a new building in 1991. It quickly became the market leader in its sector providing a knowledgeable one-stop-shop for boaters of the Staffordshire and West Midlands areas. The growth continued, and additional branches were subsequently opened including Braunston, Preston Brook and Willington.
We appreciate the Penkridge store closure will not be without its challenges for our customers, particularly our regulars, however, we will ensure that you can continue to get what you need when you need it, through our improved Midland Chandlers website and improved delivery services for trade customers. Our Braunston branch has reopened and our Willington and Preston Brook stores will reopen in July. In addition, we have introduced a flat rate delivery charge of £4.75 on all web orders during the lockdown and this will continue for the foreseeable future.
As we look to the future of our Midland Chandlers business, we will continue to strengthen our online presence - making it easier for you to get what you need when you need it. We are still committed to providing you the best service possible whether that is online, by phone, email or in person. The knowledge, experience and skill sets that have been built up over the years will be redeployed to help strengthen our Century Park head office sales team so we can better support our customers.
We have recently seen a renaissance in UK holidays – the ‘staycation phenomenon’, and as a result I am sure many people are starting to see travelling through the beautiful UK countryside as a preferred option to increasingly expensive overseas holidays. This could be the start of a new audience of participants and enthusiasts. We are shaping our business to meet this exciting challenge.
Finally I would like to offer you my sincerest thanks for your support over years and I would also like to personally thank all the staff at our Penkridge branch, past and present for the dedication and commitment that has helped shape Midland Chandlers into the customer-focused company it is today.
Arleigh Group Managing Director
I wanted to add my own words to this statement to thank all of the regular (and not so regular!) customers who have visited us over the years and have added their wonderful characters to the great atmosphere we had at Penkridge. I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to the amazing staff, some of whom have been working here for many years.
They deserve the credit for making the shop the welcoming environment it has been. I’d also like to assure our customers that the staff and I will all be offered the chance to apply for positions elsewhere within the group, and I will be doing my best to remain with Midland Chandlers so I don’t lose touch with all the wonderful customers who have become friends over time. I am sad to see the doors of Penkridge close, this decision was incredibly hard for us but I am confident that this is a necessary step which will allow Midland Chandlers to adapt and develop in the challenging economic climate to come.
We must keep you, my customers and friends, at the heart of what we do and I personally am encouraged by the plans being discussed which include new product ranges and revisions of existing ones, website development and refinement of our courier services.
As a liveaboard boater of 18 years myself and having worked within the boatyard industry, I have a vested interest in Midland Chandlers ‘working’ for us boaters and I will be continuing to use my skills and experience to achieve this and to further improve our services as we move forward.
Best wishes to you and yours and I am sure I will see you all again in the future, either in our stores or out on the cut!
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