Chris Peacock moves into group MD role, as distributor acquires second French firm

Management shuffle at Gem

Gem has announced a tactical restructure, opening a new warehouse facility, shuffling senior management and further expanding its presence in mainland Europe.

The group’s primary distribution division, Gem Logistics, has just opened the doors of a new warehouse site in Raunds, near Northampton.

This new site will operate alongside Gem’s existing distribution, finance and customer service facility in Altham. The new warehouse gives the firm some 245,000 square feet in which to comfortably operate its current primary distribution business for partners such as Ubisoft and 505 Games among others, as well as offering the spare capacity to attract new business opportunities from DVD, music, toy and consumer electronics clients.

“This new site will allow us to develop and secure our logistics business, as well as giving us the opportunity to work closely with existing customers to provide end user fulfilment, storefront distribution and outsourced logistics solutions,” said Alan Lynch, Gem Logistics’ operations director. “This new site helps Gem future-proof our business and allows us to meet the growing demands of our valued partner base.”

The opening of the Raunds operation comes on the back of Gem’s latest European expansion, with the firm having finalised its acquisition of French distributor Comtrade at the end of August. Comtrade joins fellow French division Banque Magnetique under the Gem Group umbrella, with further European expansion and acquisitions now on the cards.

The flurry of activity at the Gem Group has also seen a number of senior management changes, with UK MD Chris Peacock now moving into a Gem Group MD role. Similarly, erstwhile UK financial director Doug Yarker expands his remit to cover the Gem Group.

With both Peacock and Yarker having moved into group roles, developing Gem’s European acquisition opportunities, former sales director Darren Houghton has been promoted to UK general manager for Gem Distribution, with full responsibility for its sales, purchasing and marketing functions.

Alan Lynch becomes Gem UK operations director. While retaining overall responsibility for the Altham logistics business, Lynch will relocate to the Raunds area to manage the entire Gem Logistics division.

With Chris Watkin having recently joined the group as European business development director, Neil Willerton now on board as UK channel development director, Tracey Tennison broadening her remit to cover both purchasing and strategic sales and Dean Van Velson undertaking essential research and development responsibility in the area of digital distribution, Gem Group is clearly in a position of strength to meet the challenging demands of a rapidly changing market place.

“It’s a very exciting time for the Gem Group,” said Chris Peacock. “With the acquisition of Comtrade, we are continuing to expand our footprint across Europe, taking the Gem experience and values to markets outside of the UK. At the same time, the opening of our new warehouse in Raunds will allow Gem Logistics to continue to offer our partners a best in class solution, whilst giving us the space to attract and support new business opportunities.

“These new developments for the business have meant a new structure for our management team, too, and I am delighted to announce these new appointments and promotions across the group.”

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