Sir Julius Berlin was a high-powered official within the Mark Brittain corporation. In June 1971, he inspected the new warehouse in Coronation Street.

Three years later, he was present during a meeting between warehouse director Lionel Portious and Ken Barlow, who was representing the residents of Coronation Street by explaining to the warehouse bosses the noise and disruption caused by the lorries using the Street's entrance. Portious responded with half-hearted claims to want to minimise the disruption, and get the alterations to the Victoria Street loading bay completed as quickly as possible, but Ken was vociferous in making his points, insisting that something be done about the problem immediately. When Portious mentioned a Midlands branch which was also having alterations done, Ken suggested a redeployment of their labour force to the Weatherfield branch to speed up the work on the loading bay, as the Midlands branch was in a non-residential trading estate. His suggestion surprised the men, and Portious agreed to look into it's feasibility. When Portious left the room, Sir Julius praised Ken for his conduct during the meeting, comparing his battle with the company to David and Goliath.

A short time later, Portious called Ken to invite him to a meeting with Sir Julius at the warehouse, informing Ken that he had taken an interest in him. There, Ken was pleased to learn that his suggestion would be implemented, and work would be completed early the next week, however the true reason for the meeting was for Sir Julius, seeing potential in Ken, to offer him the position of Northern Executive Administrative Assistant with the company. Julius hoped to Ken to leave the teaching profession by offering him £1,000 PA more than he was getting at Bessie Street School, promising him the opportunities with Mark Brittain would be boundless. Ultimately, Ken accepted this job and left teaching after thirteen years.

In August of that year, Edward Pollard took over the day-to-day running of the warehouse, although Sir Julius and his son Marcus Berlin remained closely involved from afar. That month saw the warehouse staff, led by shop steward Peggy Barton, make a push for unionisation. Pollard told Ken that Sir Julius didn't like unions but the matter was resolved satisfactorily, with the girls getting their union but Peggy resigning. Later that year, when Pollard tried to get Ken sacked by telling Marcus that he was involved romantically with Peggy, Marcus and Sir Julius demanded Pollard's resignation.

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