Paper merchant Elliott Baxter is on an expansion drive to consolidate and build on two years of growth. And far from being knocked sideways by the loss of the Antalis Satimat grade, EBB is coming out fighting. It has worked with Sappi to specify and introduce GalerieArt as a woodfree coated paper to the UK print industry.
Chairman Tim Elliott says: “Elliott Baxter is now the leading supplier of coated paper in the UK and in order to further consolidate our position, we have taken the decision to switch our major supplier to Sappi. “As well as being the world's largest producer of coated paper, we believe Sappi share our long term vision for merchant distribution in the UK.”
The papermaker switched its Magno coated grade to Premier from Paperlinx last year and distributes Claro as a coated paper through Antalis.
Elliott continues: “Sappi also has the technical expertise and cost-efficient production methods to ensure that their top quality papers will give the best possible print results.” This has been proven in the work undertaken to match the paper to UK market conditions. Printers have been asked to run the paper without being told its origin in trials to test the acceptance of GalerieArt in the run up to launch. There will be three finishes, satin, gloss and matt. It will be stocked in depth in sizes that EBB has specified from its experience of the market.
An initial delivery of 8,000 tonnes has been delivered to EBB’s warehouses with a further 4,000 tonnes due this month to ensure that demand at launch can be met.
Elliott says: “The EBB policy of continually investing profits to improve the infrastructure of the company allows us to offer outstanding stock coverage and delivery facility.” This is shown in expansion of the Manchester warehouse, growing from a 4,000 pallet capacity location to a 12,000 pallet capacity 5,600m2 store. Its Charlton warehouse in south east London is closing in favour of a 4,800m2 warehouse in Thurrock with 8,000 pallet locations and space for 2,000 reels.
This follows on from a doubling of its Sheffield warehouse last year and a £2million upgrade of its delivery vehicle fleet. Regional sales manager Justin Lawes, says: “Sales growth in the local area has meant we outgrew Charlton two years ago. The new facility allows us to increase stock in both volume and range, improving the efficiency and relying less on our internal trunking system for stock, leading to Thurrock becoming a ‘self-sufficient’ branch.”
The net effect is that EBB increases its nationwide stockholding network to 29,000 tonnes. It next plans to consolidate subsidiary businesses into this network.
“We have invested massively to bring the largest possible range to market with a depth of stock unmatched by any other coated paper,” says EBB sales and marketing director Chris Sandwell.
EBB plans to stock the Sappi GalerieArt coated woodfree paper across its entire network. The merchant claims to be the largest distributor of coated woodfree papers. The Sappi paper is in place of the Arjowiggins' Satimat grade which is now stocked by Antalis.