Ossett firm wins Aldi contract

HARTE is based at  Springfield Mill, Spa Street, Ossett.
HARTE is based at Springfield Mill, Spa Street, Ossett.

A family-owned woodworking firm from Wakefield is set to expand after winning a shelving contract from Aldi.

HARTE, from Ossett, is set to hire 15 new staff and see its turnover grow by £5.5m after securing a contract to provide shelving for Aldi’s Project Fresh store refurbishment programme.

As part of Aldi’s £300m investment to upgrade all existing stores to its new format by the end of 2020, HARTE is now manufacturing custom shelving units to house the supermarket’s beers, wines and spirits and health and beauty ranges. The units will be supplied to more than 530 Aldi supermarkets across the country over the next three years.

As a result of the deal, Aldi will become the firm’s largest single customer, accounting for approximately 25 per cent of the company’s total turnover and boosting revenue by £2.5m in 2018 alone.

HARTE, which was founded in 1973, manufactures a range of bespoke shop fittings for customers in the cosmetics and food retail industry from its factory outside Wakefield.

Since 2014, the business has seen consistent growth of between 10 and 12 per cent, driven by strong demand from the retail sector.

It currently employs 115 full-time employees, and is now looking to hire an additional 15 staff to support delivery of the Aldi contract.

Next month HARTE will also begin redeveloping a property adjacent to its Wakefield factory to help it boost its production capacity and house additional racking and palletising machinery.

Fraser Thomson, commercial director at HARTE, said: “In the first six months of 2018 we provided shelving units for 79 of Aldi’s Project Fresh stores, with another 81 stores scheduled for the rest of the calendar year. Our relationship with Aldi is a huge boost to our business, enabling us to increase our turnover, expand into new premises, and create more jobs for people in our community.”

Fritz Walleczek, managing director of logistics and services at Aldi, said: “Our Project Fresh store format follows our biggest ever customer listening exercise and years of development, so we are working with partners such as HARTE to bring this vision to life, and to deliver an exceptional shopping experience for our customers.”