Stapleton’s and Kwik Fit to share central HQ?
Kwik Fit has announced that its new parent company (Itochu) is considering moving its retail head office to Letchworth, raising questions about what this means in practice. Could it even mean putting the two businesses into the building that is currently the home of the wholesale wing – Stapleton’s Tyre Services? When questioned on the subject, the relevant spokespeople told T&A it was too early to say.
However, according to an official statement, following the purchase of Kwik Fit on 30 June, the Itochu management team conducted a comprehensive review of the company in order to develop a strategy that “strengthens its market leading position and supports its long term growth.”
As a result the proposal has been made that the Kwik Fit offices in Broxburn, St Albans and Edinburgh, with the exception of the IT department, are to be relocated to Letchworth in Hertfordshire. Here it is proposed that they will be integrated with those of Itochu’s other UK automotive businesses, Stapletons and North Eastern Tyres, into one central head office.
In case you were wondering why the IT department is remaining, in answer to Tyres & Accessories’ question Kwik Fit explained that the department “is unique…in that it operates a variety of bespoke and individual systems and has specialist skills which are not as easily transferrable as other support functions.” The IT department contains 29 people.
The next step is a consultation period with the relevant employees based at Kwik Fit’s offices in Broxburn, St Albans and Edinburgh. The consultation process affects 125 employees (circa 2.3 per cent of the total workforce) and is expected to last approximately 120 days. According to the company, this consultation process does not affect Kwik Fit’s 5,000 strong workforce based at its centres across the UK and centre operations will continue as usual.