Report - Kingfield Heath, Birmingham - 17th June 2007

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This was the last site of the day for myself and Romanian1 on our little Brum jaunt, but it was the one that really made the day for me.

We had been reliably informed by a very friendly and hospitable vagrant and/or smackhead in another building that this place was empty and accessible, so we took a wander up the road to have a look (more about the nice man in another topic, eventually).

We were initially sceptical about getting in as our intel from our new friend was a bit off. We weren't too fussed as we did have a few other places to try, but after having a peep through a small hole in the front door, we knew we had to get inside.

A walk of the perimeter didn't yield much, but a very random bit of inspiration by R1 and suddenly we were straight in!

a bit of history shamelessly stolen from the company website before we get on with the show...

John Heath established his stationery business in 1852, delivering office products around the Birmingham area and later into other parts of the country.

According to a trade press article in The British & Colonial Printer and Stationer, 1892,

" John Heath was the originator of a plan of displaying the miscellanea of the stationery trade that has contributed more than any other that we know to the fostering of small sales, with consequent profits. Gradually other houses adopted the same method of showing their wares."

In February of 1993 John Heath acquired Neville and Gladstone, another national wholesaler of office products. Neville and Gladstone had themselves previously acquired Pilot Stationers, Brady and Hunt and Beaumonts Furniture. N & G also introduced their own Punchline brand subsequently adopted by John Heath.

Kingfield Heath was formed in October 1999 by the acquisition of John Heath and Co, the oldest office products wholesaler in the UK, by Kingfield Wholesale Office Supplies.

Between 2000 and 2002 the company set about an ambitious integration of the two companies. The transition included relocation to a new purpose built headquarters in Sheffield and the investment of £20 million in a new 11,000,000 cu ft. Distribution Centre at the heart of the UK motorway network at Magna Park in Leicestershire.

During this time the branch network was cut from 17 sites to the 9 that are in operation today, with a reduction in staffing from 1,500 to less than 1,000 employees.
This place is deceptively big, and we spent a good couple of hours inside. The shop floors have aisles of racks, all empty. Upstairs is a mass of cubicle type offices with a central callcentre, a few bits and bobs knocking about up there. We also found a small room absolutely stacked with paperwork, mainly stock control documents. R1 was made up with the discovery of a box full of keys, and we also found a huge box full of packaged monster sanitary towels, which naturally had us in fits of giggles (its all pixie and explorette's fault :( ).

The star of the show, and what made us get in there was the absolutely stunning reception area. Its impossible to describe, so I'll let the pictures do the talking. It was definately a great virgin outing for my new 10-20 (cheers chromedb :thumb )










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28DL Full Member
Feb 21, 2010
Sandwell & Dudley

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