Logistics firm’s purchase doubles staff, sales potential

By Norman de Bono

This article originally appeared on lfpress.com on Dec 14, 2017 

A London company has bought a Toronto-area business and is moving it here, consolidating operations in the former Kellogg plant.

Drexel Industries is doubling its staff and owner Jason Salmon is confident the purchase of Affinity Electronics of Canada in Barrie will more than double sales.

Affinity has been in business since 2005 and is a distributor for mobile phones and consumer electronics.

Drexel, founded in 2011 is a shipping, logistics and warehousing operation that will now expand into selling cellphones and other electronic devices, supplying major retailers such as Amazon, Bell, Best Buy, Costco, Rogers and Shaw, to name a few, he said.

“It’s a huge, huge opportunity,” said Salmon, a former venture capitalist from ­Alberta.

“We are well integrated into telecommunications companies like Bell, Shaw, Rogers and Videotron and will push more products to them.”

Drexel will, in January, shift the work to London from Barrie adding 18 staff, bringing its workforce to 36.

But perhaps more importantly, the acquisition is a shift from warehousing and logistics, such as Canadian Tire orders to residences, to selling electronics, mostly cellphones, said Salmon.

“It builds on what we now do, shipping outdoor furniture and consumer goods, and this will bring us into consumer electronics, unlocked cellphones, the internet of things. It increases revenue, head count, stability and scope and we will deal with more customers than we have today,” said Salmon.

Drexel was the first business to open in the former cereal plant, where it occupies 28,000-square-metres.

“It is always nice to bring good things to the city,” said Salmon, who was born in Edmonton, but worked for Shaw Communications in Calgary as a venture capitalist.

Kellogg Canada, which opened in London in 1907, closed in December 2014 and 467 workers lost their jobs. The buildings sold for $4 million to BayShore Groups in June 2015. It’s now owned by McLaughlin Bros., which is redeveloping the massive site for mixed use.

“There is an established core of logistics and third party companies in London and Drexel has become a leader in the space,” said Kapil Lakhotia, chief executive London Economic Development Corp.

“What is exciting is it brings another opportunity for productive use to the former closed Kellogg facility.”