Efficient collaboration and careful planning are crucial for businesses wanting to unlock the sales potential of peak trading periods such as Christmas, according to British logistics company Wincanton.
Press releases | 29 January 2016
Christmas represents the peak retail trading period in the UK. Online sales in December 2015 are believed to have risen by as much as 20% year-on-year, while the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend contributed in excess of £3bn to UK retailers as consumers took advantage of the earlier sales period.
The popularity of Black Friday has had the effect of elongating the Christmas sales peak, moving the busiest shopping day of the year forward and placing greater demand on both retailers and logistics businesses to provide a rapid response to consumers.
On the busiest retail day of the year in 2015, some of Wincanton’s sites saw fleets cover more than five times the Earth’s circumference in just 24 hours, with a vehicle leaving the site every 90 seconds to deliver Christmas to the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Wincanton implemented a number of innovative strategies to ensure that its network ran as efficiently as possible during the festive peak, to ensure a successful Christmas from some of the biggest retail brands in the UK. For example, the business developed a tactic to assign drivers and vehicles from its construction operations, which experiences lower demand in the run up to Christmas, and redeployed them in its retail operations to provide added capacity and ensure the sustainability of its operations.
Furthermore, the logistics specialist worked closely with two of the UK’s best known retailers to provide staff for their own warehouse and pop-up operations to support them through a period of significant pressure resulting from consumer demand.
Wincanton, the largest British logistics firm,commenced its planning for Christmas 2015 well in advance, working closely with customers to understand the pressures and opportunities within their businesses.
Liam McElroy, Retail Managing Director at Wincanton, commented:
“In recent years the impact of Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the Christmas peak has caught many businesses off guard. Yet through the flexibility of our business and close collaboration with our customers we have been able to ensure it’s been a successful period for our customers and for Wincanton.
“We begin our preparations well in advance and provide consultancy year-round to help retailers meet consumers’ growing desire for on-demand e-commerce and bigger pre-Christmas sales events.”
The business delivered more than 50 million products across its core retail operations and recorded an 80% increase in grocery orders in the week prior to the festive period in order to meet the £3bn pre-Christmas consumer order rush.
Wincanton, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary, provides supply chain solutions across a wide range of sectors including retail, construction, defence and energy.
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