Reece is Australia’s largest plumbing and bathroom supplies company. The growth of Reece Pty Ltd over the last decade has been phenomenal – going from 170 stores in 2000 to now owning and operating over 450 stores across Australia and New Zealand.

Safer Storage Systems have completed a number of store fitouts for Reece, for both new and refurbished or relocated stores. These fitouts have all been managed by our Major Accounts Department, which was introduced to look after customers with requirements across a large network of locations.

In 2016, Reece acquired a new Greenfields site in Batemans Bay, which was to be developed into a retail outlet, including a new storefront, showroom, offices, lunchroom, and warehouse storage, to accommodate a wide variety of their bathroom and plumbing products.

Reece contracted SSS to provide storage systems and office furniture to fitout the new facility. This required a customised shelving solution to fit their needs, which included 117 bays of perforated modular shelving behind the trade counter. The shelving was customised with accessories to create various compartments and functionalities suited to the store’s product sizes and trading requirements. The perforated feature of this steel shelving (Mecalux Simplos Shelving) helps to create a well ventilated and brighter storage area.

Above the 117 bays of modular shelving, a 198 SQM mezzanine storage area was installed. SSS Widespan was incorporated on the mezzanine to store lightweight, bulky items – all to be handpicked. The addition of a staircase was required for access to this raised storage area, which included closed treads as an additional safety feature.

Widespan shelving Reece Batemans Bay

Safer Storage Systems also installed custom built pipe racking to accommodate the store’s large range of pipe products for the plumbing area. The design allows for easy viewing and access to each type and size of pipe, which equals greater efficiency, as less time is spent searching and locating required piping.

Reece Batemans bay pipe rack

Alongside the customised storage systems, Safer Storage Systems provided Reece with the following solutions:

• Showroom furniture, which included desking, storage cabinets and seating.
• Office Furniture for two managers’ offices.
• Lunchroom table and seating.
• Shelving for the front trade counters, of which joinery was added over the top of the shelving to complete the finished counter tops and sides.
• Low height shelving with added joinery to the end aisles of shelving, to create additional storage and bench space behind the trade counter.
• 11 bays of single entry pallet racking for the warehouse area for the storage of larger, heavier products.

Reece Batemans bay

This project also involved a last minute change to the height of the racking. This change was made after the installation was finished, adding further storage levels to make use of the available ceiling height. To update the installation, and keep within the scheduled timeframe, Safer Storage Systems used splice kits to extend the frames to increase the height of the racking by one beam level across 11 bays in the warehouse area, enabling Reece to further maximise their storage area.

Working to Store Opening Dates

Reece have set store opening dates for their new stores to begin trading, which directly influences the installation schedule. The construction timeline works back from these dates and it is imperative that all trades and suppliers meet their individual timelines so that this opening date can be met. Any delays have a flow on effect to all trades working within the site and would have a significant impact on the stores opening date.

All product needed to be coordinated to be on site at specific times to ensure that it was there ready for the crew to install. This is why it is so important to have a dedicated Major Accounts team to communicate with all parties involved. Having an open line of communication between the customer, installation crew, suppliers and freight companies allows all parties to work together effectively to complete the installation on time.

Safety Considerations

Safety is an important aspect for every one of our installations, and in particular for Reece who prefer to exceed many Australian safety standards. The following safety features were installed at the new Reece Batemans Bay site:

• Mesh barriers were added to the rear of the freestanding pallet racking to prevent any items sliding off the back of the racking and falling onto pedestrians, or breaking as they hit the concrete floor below.
• Installing closed treads on the staircase as an additional safety precaution to prevent slipping through the rises or tripping on the stairs.
• Corner guards added to the ends of the pallet racking to deflect impact from forklifts away from the storage structure.
• Load signs installed at the end of the project as standard, to communicate the safe load limit for the racking installed.

This project was completed on time, including the last minute variations, which made for a successful handover, with no outstanding issues. This was due to having a dedicated team to coordinate and manage the project from start to finish.