Free Food Friday gives team feel-good factor


Staff at Europa Warehouse based at Midlands Logistics Park in Corby came together recently 2021 to celebrate the team’s achievements over the past 18 months.

Badged as “Free Food Friday,” workers across the site (both agency staff and direct employees) were treated by the firm to refreshments over a whole 24-hour period, (so all shifts were covered).

The gesture was to thank the 300-strong workforce for their continued commitment during what has been an incredibly challenging time for the team. Not only was the warehouse itself built and operationalised during Covid, but staff also continued to show up, day after day during the lengthy lockdowns, to do their keyworker jobs to the very best of their abilities.

The treat was so well received that it’s going to become a regular monthly event.

Building a warehouse fit for the future is challenging at the best of times, yet the £60m Corby facility was constructed ahead of programme and within budget during a global pandemic. This was no mean achievement, particularly as the pressure was on to get the warehouse up and running to meet soaring demand from consumers as they switched to online retail whilst physical outlets remained closed.

The UK’s e-commerce boom, which hit a record high during Spring 2020 with a 58 per cent increase in internet sales, meant the entire logistics sector had to up its game. Expert 3pl provider Europa Worldwide Group rose to this challenge and played its part in the national effort to keep the country moving. It opened its state-of-the-art, fully automated, super-sized Europa Warehouse facility in June 2020, doubling the firm’s logistics capacity.

Since then, it has been non-stop for the workers, who have gone over and above the call of duty throughout the crisis. Many lived away from their families during the peak, to ensure the build was completed and customer orders could be fulfilled seamlessly and to the highest possible standards with no onward delay to supply chains.

Maria Torrent-March, Logistics Director at Europa Warehouse, said: “There have been so many barriers along the way, but our staff really have been absolutely phenomenal throughout. In the early days, and as we pushed hard to complete the build, the team were hugely resourceful in finding new solutions to the construction challenges we had to overcome because of the global shortage of materials.

“Once the warehouse was fully commissioned, and as recruitment ramped up, they took everything in their stride and adapted to overcome the operational hurdles caused by Covid-19. Everyone pulled together and was 100 per cent committed to meeting all social distancing and other health and safety requirements, including testing and the formation of shift ‘bubbles.’

“Our first ever Free Food Friday is just a small token of our massive appreciation that goes out to every member of the 300-strong team for playing their part in our journey. Without them, we could never have achieved the original target date for the official opening, nor could we have made the facility Covid-secure to ensure continuity for our expanding customer base.

“Our workers are all our very own Europa superstars, and we cannot thank them enough for their dedication and steadfast commitment to the firm. Even on the toughest of days, not one person failed to crack a smile as they worked tirelessly under such difficult conditions. We are very proud of what we have all achieved together.”

Food for the celebration event was provided by pop-up mobile firm KK Catering, which was pitched up in the facility’s car park throughout the course of the day and night to ensure no-one was left out. Staff were able to go out during shift breaks and enjoy their refreshments in the Autumn sunshine before continuing with their work.

Sarah Cox, Facility Manager at Europa Warehouse added: “We really enjoyed Free Food Friday because it gave everyone something to look forward to at the end of another busy week. It’s really pepped us up and given a much-needed morale boost after what feels like a rollercoaster of a year. Thanks so much to the organisers for this lovely treat!”

Maria added: “This our way of showing our staff we value and appreciate their contribution to the business, particularly when we know they have gone the extra mile. It’s also a great way of getting everyone together as a team outside of their normal shift pattens for a social catch-up and for new-starters to meet other colleagues across the business. We plan to continue with our ‘Free Food Friday’ offer over the next few months as a thank-you to everyone for their continued hard work during what will be an immensely busy time as we approach the festive season.”

Europa Warehouse serves clients which operate in the e-commerce and subscription-based sectors. Many chose the firm over its competitors because of the value-adding capabilities it provides through its cutting-edge automation system. This delivers huge efficiencies in fulfilment, production services, inventory management, packing, labelling, special deliveries, final assembly, quality control and critical parts management.

Since it opened, the workforce has grown significantly, from just 120 people in the early phase to over 300 individuals in June this year when Europa Warehouse celebrated its first birthday. There are plans in place to expand the numbers even further. The 715,000 square foot facility is a great place to work, not only because of the career progression prospects, but also because the building itself meets the highest possible specifications within the industry. It stands at 18 metres in height, to accommodate three mezzanine floors, and offers employees a modern, contemporary workspace.

Europa Warehouse is looking to expand its team due to increasing workloads and the forthcoming seasonal demand as the market approaches the Christmas e-commerce peak. The firm is innovative and forward thinking, as demonstrated by the fact it was recently featured in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 2021, which ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing profits over the past three years.