With Christmas just around the corner, businesses are now running at peak levels to cater for the last-minute shopping dash – one third of Brits admit they leave their Christmas shopping to the week before Christmas. Europa Warehouse, a dedicated division of logistics provider, Europa Worldwide Group, is one of the companies feeling the rush, having expected a threefold increase in its workforce, specifically across its e-commerce client base over the festive period.
Last year, figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show footfall was down by 3.5 per cent in December, the biggest decline since March 2013, with high streets and shopping centres the hardest hit. This change reflects the move towards e-commerce, as time conscious consumers look for more efficient shopping methods.
Europa Warehouse works with innovative e-tailers such as 31 Dover, the UK’s premium online spirits and champagne brand. The company offers a free next day delivery service, making it appealing for consumers looking to order a last-minute gift.
With e-commerce clients requiring quick turnaround times in order to deliver product to consumers on time, speed and efficiency behind the scenes is required. As experts in warehouse operations, Europa Warehouse works closely with its clients to ensure preparations are made well in advance of their peak sales periods.
The company has three award winning facilities and services, based in Dartford, Birmingham and Northampton. To cope with the additional workload this year, temporary staff were hired from as early as September, to start preparing the warehouses. The additional staff will help with responsibilities including: checking stock for damaged or missing items, picking and packing orders and transporting goods.
Maria Torrent-March, Logistics Director for Europa Warehouse, said: “The festive period is our busiest time of the year, so we have to be prepared. This year, to meet the demand for the last-minute Christmas rush, we have employed an additional 145 temporary staff.
“More and more, successful logistics operations are reliant on being able to accurately predict consumer demand, which is by no means as simple as it used to be. It is still possible to a point, but the sector needs to be considering alternative ways to maximise efficiency given that consumer demand for later and later order cut off points is on the rise.”
James Bagley CEO of 31 Dover, comments: At 31 Dover, we start to see sales figures increase from as early as September/ October, as consumers start to prepare for the festive season. Not only are we looking at an increase in demand earlier on, but as we get closer to Christmas, consumers want to know they can order a product and receive it immediately – especially if they organising a party or planning a gift. With this in mind, our logistics operations need to run like clockwork, with speed and efficiency. Europa Warehouse offers the support, flexibility and ease of scalability that we need during this busy peak period, on a daily basis – they are a trustworthy and reliable team who we will continue to work with as we grow and evolve as a company.”
Europa Worldwide Group is a specialist road, air & sea, warehouse and showfreight operator employing 800 people across 14 sites in the UK, as well as Hong Kong, and with representation in 100 countries.