MRFG moves to its own premises in Antwerp, the city of fashion
At the end of May, MRFG will move from Herentals to its own company building at the “Eilandje” in Antwerp. “This move will make our business even stronger and allow us to grow further,” says Chiara. Chiara, together with Lieve (designer assistant) and Charlotte (logistics manager) of the MRFG moving team, describe their own experience of this change.
Why the decision to go to Antwerp?
Chiara: In Herentals we are situated on an industrial estate. Just when our lease contract was about to expire, we were given the unique opportunity to buy the premises of a fashion company in Antwerp. Our roots are there and we have experienced the best times there with our company. In terms of image, it is more logical that we can tell international customers that you are located in Antwerp, the city of fashion. Moreover, having our own building is important to safeguard the future of our company.
What does the building look like?
The company that used to live there had a very similar structure to ours: a pattern department, cut and seam area, ironing room, and rooms for account managers and the logistics team. Completely perfect! We only had to modernize it to make it into a contemporary building where it is pleasant to work and where customers get a wonderful vibrant feeling when they visit us. That works great. We are now in the final phase of the renovation.
In total we have three floors, the top floor of which we rent out to a fashion agency. This means we can still expand if necessary.
Was it an easy decision?
Chiara: No, because we wanted to keep the entire team on board. One part of the team lives in Herentals and it is not viable for everyone to come to Antwerp every day. Fortunately, we have been able to find a solution for most people.
How did that process run?
Chiara: We have intensively involved the team in the move. For example, we have put together a removal team that includes a person in charge of each department.
How did you experience that, Lieve and Charlotte?
Lieve: It was a bit of a shock when the move was first announced. I live in Olmen and was worried it would not be easy to get to Antwerp every day, especially with a young child in the house. I could not get there by train but in the end we discovered that there is a fast bus to Antwerp that I can take daily with my colleagues. The transport problem has therefore been resolved.
Charlotte: In the beginning, there was a lot of talk about who would go along with the move and who would leave. I support the move. I live in Zoersel however in terms of distance it is no better for me. I just like to be in Antwerp. I studied there and I like that you can do something with colleagues after work if you wish.
What are you most looking forward to?
Charlotte: It is livelier than here in Herentals. We are in a nice neighborhood near the MAS and the Felix Pakhuis.
Lieve: Here in Herentals it is a “cold” building and there is nothing to do outside. It is more compact and cozy in Antwerp. We will also have more contact with each other.
And what are you least looking forward to?
Lieve: The logistics of the move itself. I am part of the relocation team and it is unbelievable how many practical issues are involved. We have to plan every detail from where everything has to be put to how everything will end up in the right place. An added difficulty is that the things you need right until the end are also the first things you need again in the new building. We are therefore actively working on the logistics of the move.
Charlotte: The exhibitions are coming up, which is a busy time for everyone. Now, for each of us, this move marks a new beginning. We celebrated our Christmas party in the new building so we could already sample the atmosphere. We are all really looking forward to the exciting times ahead!