Jobs at risk in Colchester under plans by Kent Blaxill to end glass installation service

The Kent Blaxill site in Colchester.

The Kent Blaxill site in Colchester.

East Anglian building supplies company Kent Blaxill is to end its glass installation service, with a number of jobs at risk as a result.

Kent Blaxill, which is based in Colchester and has a dozen other branches around the eastern counties, said the decision followed a strategic review of operations which had concluded that its glass department should in future concentrate on glass sales.

“As part of this refocusing of its glass business, a number of employees in Colchester have regrettably been issued with risk of redundancy notices, although the company hopes to be able to redeploy as many as possible of those affected,” Kent Blaxill said in a statement.

Managing director Simon Blaxill said the company would continue to expand its decorative product operations and there was also potential for future growth in glass sales.

“Over the last year we have seen strong growth in decorative product operations, opening three new branches and creating 12 new jobs, and will be opening more branches with more jobs in the year ahead,” said Mr Blaxill. “Our buildings materials business has also been growing.

“However we have found that in offering a glass installation service, which is a very small part of our business, we are in many instances trying to compete with our own trade customers.

“The hope is that in offering purely glass sales we will actually be able to sell more glass, which could create more jobs. The glass department will also become a much better fit with the rest of the company.”

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Mr Blaxill added: “Kent Blaxill has survived for over 175 years because from time to time we reassess whether we are best serving the needs of the evolving marketplace and how we can improve.

“The glass department will continue to offer the same range of products for sale, ranging from painted glass and sealed units to uPVC windows and secondary double glazing, as well as all types of glass, from toughened to laminated, cut to any shape or size.”

A company spokesman said that it would not be disclosing the number of jobs potentially at risk at this stage.