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Beating the Clock to Open New Hobbycraft Stores!

Hobbycraft were looking for a quick and cost-effective way of opening new stores across the UK. We created a solution whereby we organised stock six weeks in advance of a store opening and used trained Merchandisers to prepare the space. This cut down the 14-day installation process to just 6 days and made huge savings to the retailer.

Our brief

Hobbycraft were looking to develop a more efficient way to open stores across the country. They asked us to find a quick and effective solution.

Our approach

Prior to our involvement, Hobbycraft had a single distribution centre based in Southampton. This caused some difficulty in opening stores across the country, with thousands of separate and irregular deliveries arriving at stores. In addition, Hobbycraft hired staff for each new store and, as a result, they were unfamiliar with how to implement planograms. Several products went missing, some linear didn’t make it to the shop floor in time and the warehouse was in a state of chaos! The time between stock delivery and store opening was 14 days.

We introduced a solution whereby suppliers sent stock to our central warehouse in 6 weeks in advance of a store opening. We were issued with also be given the Hobbycraft planograms to implement for the ideal store layout. We made up each of the pallets to fit each store bay in accordance to the plan. As stock arrived in store, our Merchandisers implemented the modulars according to the planograms.

The Results

By using our warehouse fulfilment solution and trained Merchandisers, the shop opening process decreased from 14 days to just 6. In addition, by collating the products just 6 weeks in advance, there was little risk of shelf gaps due to supplier delivery failures – we held a 99.99% stock availability for opening day. We have since opened 26 new stores efficiently using this method.