We have discussed elsewhere in our blog how the unprecedented events of the last year have affected the retail market in the UK and abroad. Who would have thought that we are almost a year into the outbreak and still under lockdown, and that businesses, both great and small, remain under tremendous pressure?
A number of companies have gone under, or course, but many more have been extremely creative and innovative during the pandemic. The growth of on-line platforms has been almost exponential – Boohoo and Asos are prime examples with the former recently buying out Debenhams(!!). Firms with a predominantly store-based, retail sales method of getting their goods to market have turned progressively towards internet sales to compete and/or survive.
Statistics from the ONS have shown that the proportion of total sales that took pace online had grown by over 10% when comparing the period of the March to August 2020, against the same period for the previous year, a trend that has continued to grow substantially.
As the UK’s premier designers and manufacturers of high quality presentation packaging, we have had to adapt (and adapt swiftly) to these changes in the sales chain. We spoke of our adaptions in the summer of last year. It was crucial for us to move with our clients’ demands. A good example would our on-going work with the marvellous Lismore Food Company of Waterford, Ireland.
Lismore Foods have a long family history in fine food and drink, which stretches back some 200 years as grocers, bakers and wine/spirit merchants. In their own words they are ‘proud to continue this fine tradition of delivering excellence within our taste and packaging.’ In turn we are delighted to be providing a key part of that packaging for them 😊.
With non-essential retail closed, packaging of high end products for on-line sales has taken on a very high importance for Lismore – especially with Valentine’s Day, Mothering Sunday and Easter fast approaching. In this case GWD provide these orange ‘hat’ boxes which are used as ‘hampers’ for Lismore’s luxury foodstuffs. The company ordered two sizes of these round hat boxes from us last year for the first time for their Christmas sales and these have (happily) gone so well that they have already re-ordered and added a third, smaller size. A fourth size is in planning and the sampling process will begin shortly.
Our designers work closely with all our clients in the sampling process to guarantee the end product is correct. Fortunately we have the wherewithal to turn around orders quickly – Lismore’s were actually very low on stock a week or so ago, due to unexpected demand, and although their next order wasn’t scheduled until the end of the month, we were able to make a supply over the weekend for delivery the following week. I think you’ll agree that the final product looks great!
This ability to make such a quick ‘turn around’ is one of the benefits of working with a UK based manufacturer who has control of their production process – as much as Covid allows, of course. We continue to work hard to keep our staff safe at work, with sanitising stations, medical grade masks and PPE, screens in place wherever possible and social distancing regulations. We also have maximum ventilation in our factory with as many doors and windows open as possible – even in this weather (we all wrap up warm!!)
Another of our clients who use our hamper boxes are Rococo Chocolates.
With their shops currently closed, Rococo are actively boosting their online sales and have required extra deliveries from us at the last minute before the Christmas period. Once again, we were able to fulfil their requirements at short notice. Keep an eye out for their offerings for Valentine’s Day, Mothering Sunday and Easter featuring our presentation packaging!
If your company is struggling with demand for packaging please do not hesitate to get in touch!
Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging. You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk