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Christie Lites Opens Coventry UK Office
UK – Christie Lites is ‘crossing the pond’ with the opening of Christie Lites Coventry in the UK. This new office is Christie’s first expansion outside of North America. The North American lighting and rigging rental company is bringing its successful business model from its network of 12 office warehouse locations across the US and Canada to further serve client demand into the UK and Europe, and vice versa.
Christie Lites CEO Huntly Christie says: “We have always expanded to places where we can best support our long-standing client partners. We’ve had inquiries for years about expansion overseas from various genres of clientele, including touring, theatre, auto and trade shows, corporate – the full gamut of our business. The time is finally right, with a great alignment of eager new staff, solid equipment support and motivated customers. Our first overseas opening parallels our expansion across North America, and is just one more step in Christie Lites’ continued organic growth.”
Fit up of the CL Coventry location is currently underway with doors planned to open in early April. Operations and account rep team hirings will be announced soon.
Dan Souwand, president of operations, is committed to implementing the same standards of excellence in equipment, service and efficiency across all Christie Lites locations worldwide. This 3,716 square meter (40,000 sq ft) warehouse setup will mirror all of Christie Lites’ other warehouses, fully stocked with CL preferred manufacturer’s brands of lighting (such as Martin by Harman, Elation, ETC, MA Lighting and more) and rigging products (Liftket/TourRig, CM and more) as well as Christie Lites’ own unique and diverse blend of proprietary truss designs.
“Essentially, once a client enters our new UK warehouse they will know instantly that they are in a CL shop,” Souwand explains. “The warehouse racking, road cases, shop machinery, are all the same. Shop processes, prep standards and service levels will be consistent with what clients have already come to enjoy for the past 30 years across North America.”
Its location in Lyons Park on the western outskirts of Coventry offers easy access. The M42, M6 and M1 motorways form a “golden distribution triangle” with 89 percent of England and Wales within four hours’ drive. It also has convenient access to the M69, M40 and M5 motorways. The A45 trunk road linking Coventry and Birmingham is just “moments away.” From the Coventry office, it’s 20 minutes to Birmingham airport, two-plus hours to central London and seven hours to Paris.
Adding a bit of intrigue, Lyons Park enjoys an illustrious past. It was originally built as a World War II shadow factory run by The Daimler Company Ltd. Jaguar Cars later leased it as their factory home from 1951- 2005. The vibes from two past companies dedicated to performance excellence will no doubt linger.
From this new hub, Christie Lites will continue to shine a light on its client relationships and its expanding community of lighting designers across the globe.
Huntly Christie, who is known and loved for his sense of humour, likes to make light of serious business announcements. And so he adds: “I should also say that I am particularly pleased at how the Brits have improved their cuisine lately. During my first visit on tour in the 80s the food was bad enough that even as a fourth generation Colonial I swore I’d never come back. Thirty years later it’s a different world, and I have been enjoying some amazing dining experiences with our new UK team these past months. As you know, Christie Lites travels on its stomach, so this is a key element to our future success!”
The Christie Lites Coventry location now joins the family of Christie Lites’ US rental network in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Nashville, New York, Orlando and Seattle; and in Canadian cities of Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
15th March 2017
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