Saffron Walden Mayor Sarfaz Anjum officially opened a new decorating centre for Kent Blaxill on the Saffron Walden Shire Hill industrial estate on September 22.
Councillor Anjum cut a ribbon and declared the purpose-built 3,500 sq ft store open, in front of Kent Blaxill customers, staff and suppliers.
The store, Kent Blaxill’s 12th and the second opened this year, will serve both the trade and consumer customers in and around Saffron Walden with an extensive range of paints and related products, with a particular strength in designer paints such as Farrow & Ball.
Simon Blaxill, managing director of the 178-year-old company, told guests: “We have a strategic plan of opening more Kent Blaxill branches, but we take our time because it is absolutely key that we retain our company culture of high service standards and have the right locations with the right staff. We are focusing on market towns, and Saffron Walden is a particularly beautiful one.
“Our products are aimed at the professional but we also hope to attract the discerning retail customer. The success of the branch will hinge not just on the products we sell but also on the service we provide and the relationships we form with local people.
“Our staff can offer expert advice and we even provide ‘brush-out’ boards to help people decide on the right colour for them,” said Mr Blaxill, who is from the sixth generation of Kent and Blaxills to run the company.
The four-person branch will be managed by David Jacobs, who will also continue to be in charge of the Huntingdon store he helped launch in 2014.
Mr Jacobs said: “Everyone we have spoken to has been very positive about the new branch and likes the range of products we have to offer. We are aiming to provide a service second to none, with a same-day delivery service for orders placed before 9 am.”
James Park, Kent Blaxill’s decorative manager, added: “As well as offering a daily delivery service for trade customers, we have specialist staff who can provide expert colour advice, which is increasingly important in today’s market. Decorators like to be able to send their clients along to get the best advice in helping to make their choices.
“In terms of location, the branch strengthens our network, linking up with Braintree and Huntingdon branches, and has good links to the M11 north and south. It also enables us to supply our customers working in Cambridge from both Saffron Walden to the south and Huntingdon to the north.”
The branch will stock Dulux, Crown and Armstead paint brands, as well as designer paint labels Farrow & Ball, Little Greene and Paint Library, Zoffany, Sandersons and Earthborn.
The store is located at Unit 1, Saffron Place, Shire Hill, Saffron Walden, CB11 3GB.