AO has opened a new ‘rework’ facility at its Crewe warehouse to check and test the appliances that customers return before reselling them.
The new centre opened last month and is already handling about 900 appliances that customers have sent back every week, including branded washing machines, fridges and TVs that otherwise may never be used. At the warehouse they are safety tested, cleaned and repackaged before being sold on the AO Outlet eBay shop for delivery across the UK.
Mark Rothwell, head of outlet sales at AO, says: “Our engineers take the time to thoroughly test these appliances three to four times so we can guarantee that they’re as good as new for future customers. At AO, we believe that reuse is the best form of recycling, so we’re really pleased to offer a new facility to support the second-hand market while also offering some great bargains for our customers.”
So far the new site has created several new jobs for engineers, and AO now plans to launch apprenticeships in this area.
Ben Swift was a runner at the company, moving appliances around the workshop, while he was tutored outside work by senior teammates. Now he has been trained up to work at the new site.
Michael Owen, rework production manager at AO Logistics, says: “In the last few months, Ben has proved to be an invaluable member of the team with new as well as more experienced engineers approaching him for advice. We have now given him a contract to recognise his efforts and look forward to seeing the growth of his skillsets over the coming years.”
The Crewe warehouse is also home to AO Logistics’ head office and its Alpha & Omega distribution centres. Bolton-based AO bought the two-person delivery company in 2009. It also has a majority stake in AO Recycling, a WEEE processing facility where old appliances that are removed from customers’ houses when they buy a new one go to be broken down.
AO is a Top100 retailer in RXUK Top500 research.