Old Mill Saddlery invests in warehouse robots and a wind turbine

Equestrian retailer based in Carrickfergus Upholstery of the Old Mill invested €1.9 million in a new warehouse and a wind turbine on its site.

The investment, intended to support the company’s continued growth, was funded in part by Danske Bank.

The Covid pandemic has benefited the equestrian company, which says it has seen an “exponential” increase in sales.

Hence the investment in a second warehouse, which uses robotic sorting and picking technology from Geek+, which builds AI-powered autonomous mobile robots.

The warehouse is the first of its kind on the island of Ireland and is complemented by a new wind turbine which has taken Old Mill’s use of renewable energy to 97% of its total consumption.

General director Robert Patton said, “The strength of our business comes from our core values, providing our customers with a quality shopping experience, exceptional customer service, and selling quality products at great value.

“During the lockdown we struggled a lot with staffing issues as our business got busier and busier. To ensure that we continue to provide the best possible service, we had to find a solution.

“The automated warehouse system has enabled our business to be more efficient than ever, allowing us to meet demand, deliver our products on time and deliver our goods even further afield. We mainly deliver to the UK , Ireland and Europe, but we hope the new system will give us the ability to expand our business worldwide.

Founded in 1985, Old Mill Saddlery provides horse gear such as saddles and bridles, horse care and grooming products, riding apparel and more for disciplines such as racing, eventing, dressage and show jumping.

Corporate Acquisition Manager Danske Bank Mark Brown added, “The introduction of robotics into this traditional retail setting underscores Old Mill Saddlery’s commitment to innovation and excellence and will help future-proof the business as it seeks to maintain its leadership position in the industry and achieve its expansion plans.

“It’s great to see the company’s commitment to sustainability as well, and we’re glad we were able to support that.”