Retailer Matalan is rapidly expanding and, following the installation of a new six-storey hanging garment racking system at its Corby Distribution Centre, the company called upon Tyco Fire and Integrated Solutions’ expertise in advising on the fire extinguisher and signage strategy. Subsequently, Tyco’s innovative use of photoluminescent, floor-mounted signs has absolutely ensured that a clear escape route is identified for Matalan’s staff in the event of an emergency.
Matalan is, of course, one of the UK’s leading clothing and homeware retailers, offering quality goods at up to half the equivalent High Street price. The business trades from five million square feet in over 200 stores, with several national Distribution Centres key to its successful operation.
Last year alone, over £1 billion worth of stock passed through these Distribution Centres, including over 14.5 million boxed and hanging garments through Kirkby ‘Galaxy’ DC, Lancashire, nearly six million by way of Corby in Northamptonshire and 4.5 million through Knowsley on Merseyside.
Inside each of these sites you’ll find one of the most advanced supply operations of its kind in the UK.
A necessary revamp of the Corby Distribution Centre has seen the old multi-storage facility, complete with mechanical crane, given over to a hanging garment despatch system over six storeys, all made possible by the addition of five mezzanine floors in the existing warehouse.
With racks of clothing making the usual high level fire safety signage unsuitable, Tyco Fire and Integrated Solutions was called in to deliver an effective solution. As part of an £8,000 supply and install contract, Tyco devised and instigated an ingenious strategy.
“We opted for high quality photoluminescent signs on the floor,” explained Nick Scrafton, service sales consultant at Tyco. “These are AAA-rated, giving a high light output of 25 lux. They’re also very durable. They come with a two-year manufacturer’s guarantee but we expect them to be good for at least five years.”
Matalan is very happy with the end result. “We tested the solution in a darkened room and the signs showed up remarkably well,” commented Tony Hales, safety advisor at Matalan. “Tyco has been innovative and open to suggestions. We’re very pleased with the solution.”
Tyco also developed a location strategy for the 120 fire extinguishers installed during the refurbishment of the Distribution Centre. “You cannot just place the extinguishers around the edge of the warehouse because of the mezzanine floors,” explained Nick Scrafton. “We deliberated on where they should go, looking at all locations, and came up with a backboard system for mounting the extinguishers with the boards painted red to make them highly visible and numbered.”
This latest installation continues Tyco’s long-standing relationship with Matalan.