Inverarity Morton to close Milnathort depot

Inverarity Morton (IM), described as Scotland’s largest independent wines and spirits merchant, is to close its regional depot in Milnathort, Kinross-shire.

Inverarity Morton-forwebIM’s managing director Stephen Russell cited tough trading conditions combined with spiralling maintenance costs at the Perthshire site as key factors in the decision.

“The last 12 months haven’t been easy for the licensed trade,” he said.  “A lot of businesses are counting the cost of the after-math of the new drink-drive legislation in Scotland and continued slow economic recovery.  Poor trading has had a knock-on effect on our business.

“We conducted a full business audit in order to identify ways to cut costs without compromising our service. Moving our entire business under one roof made complete commercial sense and will allow us to operate far more effectively and efficiently.”

The company moved its headquarters to larger premises in Glasgow last September, investing £3 million in the refurbishment of the 100,000 sq ft site, including the installation of leading-edge logistics and back-office systems.

The depot in Milnathort came with the acquisition of Forth Wines in 2013. More than £500,000 would be needed to upgrade the site, a site that Forth Wines had otherwise planned to vacate and sell for residential redevelopment. These steep renovation costs, Russell added, further influenced the decision to close.

“We looked at all the avenues open to us and the most feasible solution was to close Milnathort,” he said. “At the time of the acquisition, having a second depot was invaluable, because we were bursting at the seams in our old HQ.  Now that we have moved, we are more than able to absorb the entire Milnathort operation within our existing infrastructure, so our customers will see little or no difference to the way their accounts are managed.”

The company will now engage in a consultation process with affected staff, hoping to minimise redundancies among the Milnathort workforce. The management team is looking at measures, including relocation packages, for the 29 employees based at the site in telesales, admin, warehousing and marketing.

The closure will be phased between March and May, with the 75,000 sq ft site eventually being put up for sale.

As a composite drinks distributor to the licensed trade, Inverarity Morton employs more than 200 people and supplies over 3,000 on-trade outlets in Scotland.

Tel: Inverarity Morton 0141-620 6100

Published Date: February 4, 2016
Category: Wholesale Industry News