The Range is one of the UK’s most successful retailers, and arguably the fastest growing, boasting over 200 nationwide stores which supply over 140,000 products. They run an immensely complex logistics operation, sourcing products from around the world and distributing them to stores across the UK and Ireland. They are headquartered in Plymouth, in the south-west of England, and continue to be a company rooted in the local community.
In November 2023, The Range unveiled its cutting-edge 1.17 million sq. ft. warehouse at Freeport East Gateway 14, a state-of-the-art business hub near the A14’s Junction 50 in Stowmarket, near Ipswich. Developed with Gateway 14 Ltd, a subsidiary of Mid-Suffolk Council, along with Jaynic and Winvic, this marks a major milestone.
Speaking after the launch, Alex Simpkin, CEO of The Range said: “We are thrilled to receive the keys to this best-in-class distribution centre, which is a key milestone in The Range’s commitment to enhancing operational efficiency, streamlining logistics and supporting the expansion of our retail store network and website in the UK.
“It’s fantastic that the project is being delivered on time enabling us to press forward and create much-needed jobs for the local area at a time when they are needed the most.
“This site will support us in our goal of delivering an ever-expanding range of high quality, value for money products for the public through our growing store portfolio and multichannel offerings”
As well as delivering a step-change in logistics capability, The Range’s new facility, with sustainability at its core, has the potential to set benchmarks for future construction. Gateway 14 has prioritised high-spec buildings with features like EV charging, LED lighting, solar PV, smart energy systems and rainwater harvesting. Committed to delivering low carbon and net-zero solutions, The Range’s distribution facility at Gateway 14 has earned a BREEAM Excellent rating.
Working with Freeport East – developing a new global logistics gateway
As a designated tax site within Freeport East, Gateway 14 brings significant benefits for new businesses like The Range, including tax reliefs, simplified customs arrangements and support for innovation and skills. These have enabled The Range to deliver the new development on a scale and timeline that would otherwise not been possible.
The Range’s launch showcases successful collaboration and achievements through partnership, highlighting the strategic importance of Freeport East in fostering economic growth and sustainable development.
The development also allows The Range to focus its logistics around the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe, just 30 minutes away and with its unbeatable connections to the Far East and Europe. This puts The Range at Gateway 14 at the heart of the UK’s trading network and offers ample scope to support future overseas expansion.
Steve Beel, Chief Executive of Freeport East said: “The Range is a landmark first development for Freeport East but the first of many. Bringing a diverse range of new business operations into the Freeport East area will strengthen and diversify our local economy and provide a range of opportunities for local people.
“With 100% of all the business rates collected at Gateway 14 being recycled into local growth priorities, it means that this major development will also drive benefit across local communities, such as supporting our new Innovation & Skills Fund and supporting local businesses to innovate and grow.”