Ovendens targets growth in boards market

Jo Francis
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Ovenden Papers has reported a pleasing performance from its new Graphical & Carton Board offering despite launching the division during the pandemic.

Ovendens also has its own delivery fleet
Ovendens also has its own delivery fleet

The Harlow-headquartered business, part of the Aims Group of independent merchants, put the new dedicated offering in place earlier this year.

Ovendens took on sector expert John Turner as director of the operation. He has spent 31 years in the sector and was previously commercial director at Warren Board. Prior to that he worked at Paperlinx, James McNaughton and Hedsorboard.

“Progress has been really good and we have outperformed 2019 every single month, which shows we’ve got the product range right,” Turner said.

He said Ovendens had focused on a tight selection of products for its offering as sole stockist merchant.

The G&BC division is stocking Sappi Atelier and Fedrigoni Symbol Card as well as a 100% FSC recycled fibre natural greyboard range that has been expanded to include thicknesses from 480mic up to 3,000mic.

“We wanted our portfolio to be exclusive from a stockist point-of-view as far as possible because we’re a stockist merchant,” Turner explained.

“It’s about building a credible portfolio and focusing on customers who know about our service offering.”

Fedrigoni Symbol Card is a one-sided SBS board double-coated with a satin finish. Typical applications include luxe packaging, greetings cards and folders and brochures.

It is available in a range of sizes from 250mic to 437mic.

Sappi Atelier is a white backed folding boxboard, double silk coated board that is used for “all types of folding carton or brochure work where a superior whiteness is required”.

Ovendens stocks sizes from 450x640mm up to 720x1,020mm in weights from 320mic to 595mic.

The family-owned merchant has an 8,735sqm warehouse in Harlow that holds more than 7,000 tonnes of stock. It also has branches in Ipswich and Croydon.

“We want to have the right stock and serve our customers quickly and well,” explained Charles Eaton, Ovendens marketing manager and head of marketing for the Aims Group.

“The Ovendens way is about doing the basics right and not over-complicating things.”

The £35m-plus, 86 employee firm focuses on serving customers in the Home Counties, East Anglia, London and the South East.

Eaton said the merchant also had “everything in place” to ensure a smooth Brexit transition, including three months’ worth of stock.

The merchant may expand its sole stockist G&BC range in future.

‘“We’re not rushing into anything, I would rather wait six months and then expand with the right products. We still have access to other products via Warren Board [also a member of the Aims Group],” Turner added.

“Going forward the target will be to expand outside of our commercial print base and look at larger carton makers who might not know of Ovendens in this sector.”

The additional products available via Aims Group partners include boards from Stora Enso, Weig Karton and West Rock.

The Aims Group was set up nearly 40 years ago and is a purchasing and marketing consortium representing 10 independent paper merchants in the UK and Ireland.

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