A Swansea company which began life trading from a market stall is investing £3.2 million to purchase 157,000 sq ft of warehousing units and offices at Morriston.
Leading giftware designer and importer Something Different Wholesale is purchasing the 61,000 sq ft Building H it currently leases on Swansea Enterprise Park and also purchasing the adjacent buildings, totalling a further 96,000 sq ft. It will spend around £1 million renovating and remodelling the units to suit its growing business.
Founder Jane Wallace-Jones has grown the business steadily since it was established 25 years ago to a current turnover of £12 million, and the company now designs its own ranges of giftware items, which are manufactured in China, Indonesia, India and the UK and supplied to retailers, both online and bricks and mortar, across the UK, Europe and around the world.
She said: “We have seen our sales double over the past 12 months and that is thanks to our hardworking, dedicated team headed up by commercial director Anthony David and myself.”
Neil Francis, head of Knight Frank’s Logistics & Industrial division in Cardiff, who acted for the vendor said: “We are delighted to have achieved sales of these buildings to such a successful local company. Something Different is a remarkable story and we look forward to seeing the company grow and thrive in Morriston in the years ahead.”
Jane Wallace-Jones said: “We hope to increase our workforce from the current 80 people to more than 120 in the next three years. We are investing heavily to automate the way we run our warehouse, including £130,000 in a new computerised customer service system – and a digital robot to automate repetitive tasks.
“Our focus is to push our company in a much more environmentally-friendly direction in everything it does, and as a start that includes installing solar electricity panels on the roofs of the three warehouse units.”
Throughout its growth Something Different has maintained close links with the Welsh Government. The company is currently on the Accelerated Growth programme which supports high-growth businesses. Jane Wallace-Jones said that the Welsh Government has been very supportive and she feels this has been instrumental in the growth of the company.