Blake Envelopes expands and hires new sales lead

By Jez Abbott, Thursday 11 February 2016

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Envelope supplier Blake is targeting diversification and multi-channel business growth by appointing a new head of sales and opening a new Midlands warehouse.

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Gary Rowan appointed head of sales at Blake Envelopes

Gary Rowan joined the envelope and postal packaging company in mid-January from Office Depot where he spent 13 years and rose to sales director.

Managing director Michael Barter said that Rowan’s extensive experience, particularly in developing value-added propositions, would further develop the company’s sales team.

Blake is also opening a new warehouse in the Midlands this quarter, although Barter declined to reveal details at this stage.

Blake supplies 14% of all envelopes used in the UK and turns over around £24m. The 58 staff across four warehouses in Yeovil, Somerset, deal with 7,500 pallets of stock.

Managing director Michael Barter said there were massive opportunities in the sector, despite an overall decline in volumes.

“The biggest sector challenge has been a decline in volumes – around 7% a year for the last five to seven years.

“Manufacturers are hungry for capacity because they have machines to fill and many drive down the price in search for those volumes,” he said.

“The clever thing to do is to diversify, which is what we've done with colour ranges and matching papers and envelopes for premium ranges.

“But we have also moved into tags, polythene products, postal boxes and presentation boxes. Postal packaging is still on the increase thanks to the likes of eBay.

“Opportunities are massive and we've had some really good wins. This is prompting us to open a new warehouse in the Midlands in the first quarter to be closer to the action and our customers.”

Rowan said that the need for innovation and creative thinking in the postal packaging market was paramount, as envelope manufacturers continue to experience a challenging market.

Barter added: “Blake is entering an exciting era of investment and diversification and we feel that Gary is the right person to head up our sales division at such a key time in Blake’s history.”

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