EXCLUSIVE: Comenda’s £500k equipment stockpile signals desire to reignite UK business

Comenda is sitting on half a million pounds’ worth of stock that is available to ship to customers immediately following its decision to split from distribution partner Hubbard Systems and manage local sales and support itself.

The warewashing equipment brand’s UK business will now be run from Barnsley in Yorkshire, with the move backed by a significant investment in inventory.

Jonathan Mellor, Comenda’s UK brand manager and the man tasked with leading the UK operation, confirmed: “We already have £500,000 worth of stock ready and waiting for the UK, with three warehousing facilities at our disposal – one in Doncaster, one in Sittingbourne and the other over in Milan, Italy, where UK stock is being held for the first time. This allows us to be able to offer three-day standard delivery and next-day delivery options.”

Parent company Ali Group will be hoping the latest restructure – its second in 18 months considering it was with the now defunct Dawson MMP prior to Hubbard gaining control – will bring some stability to the brand. Hubbard said earlier this week that sales had not been as encouraging as either party had hoped for.

Mr Mellor responded: “After a difficult 18 months for Comenda, we hope now to completely revitalise the brand and deliver a better service than ever before. Our team is committed and we are backed up by a fantastic product to allow us to provide this to the industry.”

The company’s objectives over the next 12 months involve re-establishing the brand within the UK commercial catering industry by placing a strong emphasis on delivering a transparent, approachable and customer service-focused operation.

Mr Mellor, who has moved with the brand from his position at Hubbard Systems, will oversee all new sales and service of Comenda equipment. He will be supported by technical expert Roy Andrews, who has returned to the business to manage all after-sales service, warranty and spare parts matters.

First Choice Group has been chosen as Comenda’s exclusive spare parts partner and will have sole access to OEM spares supply, while McFT Commercial Kitchen Maintenance has been appointed as the brand’s UK service provider.

“Both the UK and Italian Comenda teams are extremely excited to see the Comenda brand retake its place as a leading supplier of both equipment and after-sale care,” continued Mr Mellor. “As well as providing exceptional equipment, our aim is to provide an enviable technical back-up for the industry and our customers. By having strong service and spares partners we can only enhance this further.”

Earlier this year, the brand launched its Hi-Line model and plans are afoot for further product roll-outs in the coming 12 months.

Mr Mellor believes it is on stable ground to take market share from its competitors. “We are in such a strong position in the UK market,” he insisted. “We have the product and now have all the support that we need to provide our industry partners with the service and support that they deserve.”

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