Workplace product specialist Slingsby has invested in a new road salt distribution centre and bagging plant, in an effort to meet the demand from the hospitality sector over winter.
The company said that demand had increased as hotels and leisure businesses stockpiled salt to reduce the disruption caused by snow and ice.
Last winter’s snowfall cost the hospitality sector up £750m in sales as people stayed at home to avoid dangerous conditions, according to analysts at city bank DeutscheBank.
The new facility will enable Slingsby to deliver anywhere in the UK on a range of products to tackle snow and ice, including salt, rock salt and grit in quantities ranging from 25kg to several tonnes.
“The last few winters have been severe and each time we’ve been one of the only companies that had sufficient stocks of winter products to meet demand,” said Lee Wright, marketing director of Slingsby.
Cold weather is yet to hit the UK, with unseasonably warm temperatures still prevailing, but hospitality businesses have opted not to take any chances, according to Slingsby.
“This latest investment is a direct result of demand from customers wanting to buy salt at all times of the year,” said Wright. “Every winter there’s a shortage of salt so increasing numbers of businesses are now choosing to buy it early which makes sense because it’s cost effective and can be stored for long periods of time.”
Last year snow fell in late November and early December, which saw sales plummet by up to 4.3 per cent, compared to the same period in 2009. However, warmer temperatures in January brought about a recovery, as sales rose by 11.4 per cent on 2009, which saw heavy snowfall in the same month.