A new Kent Blaxill decorating centre was declared open in Chelmsford yesterday (October 6th) when Neil Ogilvie, chief executive of the Painting and Decorating Association, cut the official ribbon in front of company customers, staff and suppliers.
It is the 178-year-old Colchester headquartered company’s 13th store – and the third it has opened this year to serve both the trade and consumer markets following other launches in Saffron Walden and Stamford.
The branch is located at 21 Rodney Way on the Widford Industrial Estate in Chelmsford, CM1 3BY, where two units have been knocked into one and refurbished to create a bright modern store.
Simon Blaxill, KB managing director, told guests: “With our headquarters only 20 miles away in Colchester it is strange that we have not opened a branch here before, but traditionally north Essex has looked towards Suffolk. However that has changed and it is now important for us to be in an expanding and prosperous location such as Chelmsford.
“In fact we already have 200 customer accounts in the Chelmsford area and we will be aspiring to do a lot more business in the town and down towards Brentwood and the M25. We believe we have an attractive package of products, presentation and customer service, including a same-day delivery ability,” said Simon who is from the sixth generation of Kents and Blaxills to run the company.
“Kent Blaxill services both consumer and the trade with leading brands such as Farrow & Ball, Dulux and Crown paints. The ambience inside the store is such that a customer can choose in relaxed surroundings with advice available on hand from knowledgeable staff.”
Neil Ogilvie said: “It is an amazing achievement that a company formed in 1838 is still being so successful in opening new branches and creating employment.
“Our industry has changed a lot over the past 20 years with a lot of new materials. Some older tradesmen find it difficult to adapt but new stores like this, with all the new materials and advice, can help them to change.”
The four-person store will be managed by Luke Harrison, who has nine years of experience in the sector, along with Steve Egginton, Jane Carr and Thamid Choudhury.
Harrison said: “I think the branch has tremendous potential as we look down towards London.”
The branch has an extensive range of paints and related products, with a strong focus on designer paints such as Farrow & Ball, Little Greene and Paint Library, Zoffany, Sandersons and Earthborn, as well as regular trade brands such as Dulux, Crown and Amsted.
James Park, Kent Blaxill decorative manager, said: “As well as offering a daily delivery service for trade customers, we have specialist staff who can provide expert colour advice, which is increasingly important in today’s market. Decorators like to be able to send their clients along to get the best advice in helping to make their choices.”