Retail is not dead
It is reinventing itself, says Clipper Logistics CEO Tony Mannix. Logistics Matters editor Simon Duddy hears how the time is now for multi-user facilities.
CLIPPER LOGISTICS, part of GXO since last year’s acquisition, has long been laser-focused on the retail sector. CEO Tony Mannix explains: “We see ourselves as a retail solutions provider more than a 3PL, because our entire business model has been about supporting retailers, helping them think about what’s coming next.”
What’s coming next has, in fact, been a long time coming. Collaboration has been a great idea for logistics, in theory, for many a year. Could its moment be here at last? Tony believes so.
“The realisation at the moment in retail is that collaboration, just as happened through Covid, is the way forward. The reality is now that sharing resources, inventory location, transport, and systems, gives retailers flexibility and helps them grow.”
This is happening alongside redoubled effort to maximise store estate.
Tony explains: “Don’t get me wrong, the genie is out of the bottle with online retail, but it is heartening to see the Government support the High Street, as it is valuable, it is part of the community. There’s no getting away from the footfall pressures, but it is a fact that retail is a social activity as well as a shopping activity. Retail is not dead, it is reinventing itself.”
Tony sees Click & Collect as an important step in this reinvention and outlines how Clipper uses its expertise to help retailers work store estates more effectively.
“The big advantage is that we can run parcels much more efficiently to store as a transport provider than a carrier solution can to homes.
“The truth is that when Royal Mail strikes hit and parcel carriers were swamped with volume over Peak, our delivery operation never missed a beat.”
“We delivered 1 million parcels over a three week period, with volume going up. Our ClickLink solution has been operating since 2016 and now has 40 retailers and brands on the network, with 1,300 drop locations in the network, all stores.
“On top of that, we have Boomerang, our returns management solution, used by John Lewis, ASOS and others, where we are able to manage the returns process to maximise margins, and minimise waste.
“If we bring them together, then the returns use the backhaul of the delivery routes, creating greater efficiencies.”
Click & Collect is about more than efficiency though, says Tony. It gets right to the heart of why there are stores in the first place. So people can talk to people, face-to-face, eye-to-eye.
He says: “We’ve been asking ourselves, why don’t we transport goods for Click & Collect in transit packaging. For example, if a man orders a jacket, two sizes, we deliver it to store in a shroud, as opposed to full cardboard box, which allows store staff to say, ‘what don’t you try them on?’ and they can give the buyer an immediate refund for the one they don’t want.”
This approach releases inventory much faster for retailer, so they can sell more in season, at full margin.
eCommerce has driven the logistics revolution of the last 20 years, but it is interesting to note that smart use of ‘old-school’ trunking to stores, and innovative use of store estate, is a big part of gaining success for the modern, Omnichannel retailer. n
HSS to rebrand as Logistics Matters
Handling & Storage solutions (HSS) magazine is excited to reveal its rebrand as Logistics Matters from January 2023 - with a view to better cover the wide range of challenges facing the world of materials handling, supply chain, warehousing and logistics.
The content in Logistics Matters does not differ radically from HSS. Apart from the title, from January, the magazine feels very much like an evolution rather than a revolution from the magazine you are accustomed to.
We want this is to be a journey we share with you and we would love to hear your feedback on the new magazine when it launches in January.
Why change? With a modern and more meaningful name, Logistics Matters can highlight the challenges faced by all warehouse occupiers and MHE users with one all-encompassing term, that covers all logistics functions, processes and premises and highlights all solutions that can help in an increasingly inter-connected supply chain.
Broader scope? Yes, the name change means we can more effectively tackle supply chain topics, with the core of content remaining focused on MHE and in-warehouse automation.
Why move to six issues per year? Remaining one of the few publications in the market committed both to print and ABC audits, focusing on six issues per year allows us to provide deeper content, taking a lead from the success of our Tomorrow’s Warehouse Special Report.
Topical coverage? We will send two e-newsletters per week to our robust database and keep content on the relaunched website fresh - www.logisticsmatters.co.uk
Lead generation? Our buzzing, insightful webinars and Safety in Logistics digital conference educate attendees on cutting edge topics and provide attendee and registrant leads to sponsors. See http://bit.ly/3RbfHm4
Face-to-Face? The Tomorrow’s Warehouse Event, with conference and exhibition space at the CBS Arena in Coventry, brings buyers and sellers together for a day of learning and networking that doesn’t cost the earth. See https://tomorrowswarehouse.live
To get involved with the new Logistics Matters, get in touch with our team today:
Neill Wightman, Sales Manager. email@example.com; DD: 01342 333725; M: 07818 574304