Sleepyhead announces Manufacturing ‘Centre of Excellence'
Sleepyhead Announces Plans for A New State-of-the-Art Auckland Manufacturing ‘Centre of Excellence’
Sleepyhead Manufacturing has today announced plans to invest around $45 million in a new state-of-the-art 40,000m2 manufacturing, warehouse and distribution facility in Manukau as a base for its Auckland bedding, foam and flooring manufacturing operations.
Sleepyhead has purchased a 9.2-hectare site next to the Vodafone Events Centre to build an Australasian ‘centre of excellence’ for its bedding business, which it hopes to have operational in 2017.
Sleepyhead Joint Managing Director, Craig Turner said the investment will create new jobs and bring together its existing 400-strong workforce from the company’s Otahuhu and Avondale operations.
“We’ve already started the centre of excellence strategy at our existing sites, which will create 40 new jobs in the next three years as we transition to the new facility.”
“The new centre will have a state-of-the-art Research and Development facility. It will also create new manufacturing jobs in Auckland as we boost exports of our products to markets like China - where we now export beds and specialist bedding foam. Our exports into China are already worth several million dollars and we expect them to double year on year, creating more jobs in Auckland.
“The new facility will also be the Head Office for our operations, sales, marketing and finance teams who support the New Zealand market and our expanding operations across Australasia. We’re proud to make New Zealand our main service centre for Group operations.”
Craig Turner said expansion of the 78-year old family-owned New Zealand company has seen it develop new purpose built manufacturing facilities in Christchurch, Sydney and Melbourne in the last two years. “These bring together our people and world-leading manufacturing technology to service key markets.”
Turner said the company had been looking for a suitable site in Auckland to create its new headquarters following the purchase of Dunlop Living in West Auckland in 2011. The consent, design and build process is expected to take up to 3 years.
“By that time, the Waterview tunnel and new Manukau Train Station is scheduled to be open making travel to the new site convienient for our West Auckland staff.”
Turner said the investment would create an important manufacturing hub in the area providing local jobs during development and “long-term manufacturing jobs for Aucklanders into the future”.
The Turner brothers have been strong supporters of manufacturing in New Zealand, investing in their operations here while others have moved off-shore. With a new Christchurch facility just opened and the plans for the new Auckland hub announced, Turner says Sleepyhead is on a growth path in 2014. “The New Zealand economy has been well-helmed over the past few years to navigate safely through the GFC and its fallout. We think the economy’s in good hands, in good shape and this has given us the confidence to make this major investment in New Zealand.”
“We are forecasting strong growth for our New Zealand operations over the next two years as our retail partners and kiwi consumers show strong support for our Sleepyhead, Sleepmaker and Dunlop Foam and Sleepyhead Flooring branded products.”
The concept for Sleepyhead’s new Auckland manufacturing base would be similar to the Melbourne facility completed in 2010, which the company also created on a green-fields site. It will produce mattresses, bed bases, foam for beds and the furniture, marine and healthcare industries, carpet underlay and consumer foam products such as pillows where Sleepyhead is New Zealand’s largest supplier.
Since brothers Craig and Graeme Turner took over Sleepyhead from their Father and Uncle in the early 1970’s they have grown the business from its Auckland base with just 50 staff to become the largest bedding and foam manufacturer in Australasia, known as The Comfort Group, with over 1100 staff producing over 650,000 pieces of bedding each year.
The Turner brothers have expanded the business’s production of foam products after introducing Australasian-first environmentally friendly foam production technology. In 2011, The New Zealand Comfort Group acquired the bedding, foam and furniture divisions of Dunlop Living Limited in August 2011 where foam is manufactured for export to Australia.
The 9.2 hectare site is situated at 834 Great South Road and 10 Pacific Centre Drive, next to the Vodafone Events Centre and Auckland’s Southern Motorway.