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Cheshire-based Aykroyd and Sons is a leading supplier of children’s character nightwear, supplying to all the major high street retailers and responsible for bringing the latest film characters to pyjama parties across the country.

One of the few companies still to source from the UK, as well as importing, Aykroyd and Sons called upon Allibert Buckhorn in 2005, when an increase in stock saw its existing warehouse struggling for space.

Gwyndaf Hughes, property manager at Aykroyd and Sons, says: “We last extended the warehouse back in 2001, but with the release of every children’s film comes demand for a new range of nightwear and it quickly became clear that we needed to invest in a second warehouse and new racking.”

Completed in June 2005, the new warehouse sits adjacent to the original Aykroyd storage site in Balla, north-west Wales, and thanks to the narrow-aisle racking, can store more than 250,000 pairs of pyjamas at any one time. A delay in delivery of the narrow-aisle forklifts required to manoeuvre stock around the new warehouse threatened to delay storage plans, but with space at a premium and time of the essence, Allibert Buckhorn suggested a two-stage racking installation programme.

“Allibert Buckhorn really came through for us and racking rows two and four were in place within weeks of the warehouse structure being completed. This offered temporary wide-aisle storage, which meant the warehouse could function at a reduced capacity before the new forklifts were delivered. Rows one, three and five were then added in August,” says Hughes.

As in the existing storage facility, stock is arranged according to customer and nightwear range. The new warehouse racking is on a single floor and five levels high, and was configured to meet the specific needs of customers.

“The current trend for nightwear supply finds three out of four customers requesting product boxed, rather than hanging. Because of this, we asked Allibert Buckhorn to design the narrow-aisle racking system with palletisation in mind, allowing all boxed items to be stored in the new warehouse and processes to be streamlined,” says Hughes.

Allibert Buckhorn were mindful of the fact that trends change year on year and have maintained flexibility of use by leaving the lower layer of racking able to accommodate pallets or hanging garments.

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