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June 8, 2020 June 2020 No Comments

Pain and Kershaw, where would we have been without you?

With impressive speed they swung into action to offer an online ordering service with free daily home delivery or a click and collect option.  No need for us to leave home to shop, no queues winding around the block and no need to get up at midnight to try to place an online order that would arrive a week later. 

 During normal times P&K make about three home deliveries a day.  During Level 4 they peaked at over 30 deliveries and 90 click and collects!  “Normally Christmas Eve is our busiest time but some days during the lockdown we exceeded even that”, says owner Conor Kershaw.

The logistics required to meet this sudden demand were significant but for the most part the supply chain held up.  Like the rest of New Zealand, there was huge demand for baking ingredients, toilet paper and hair dye. A significant spike in alcohol sales might account for the matching increase in sales of panadol and aspirin!

Ensuring an uninterrupted supply of grocer goods was just one of the challenges.  Equally important was the need to keep the team and customers safe.   “We had some team members who for age or other reasons could not come to work but the remaining team did an outstanding job.  They had to adapt almost overnight to an entirely new and different way of working.  We were lucky to have plenty of protective gear and counter team wore masks at all times.”   Some of the customers came along wearing their own imaginative creations.

“Our customers were generally very supportive and team were really touched by the appreciation that people showed them.  My colleagues in other parts of the country were also amazed that we were able to run our online service on trust.    People could order and then pay after they received their groceries. Out of all those thousands of transactions we did not have a single non-payment.”

Things have quietened down at P&K now, but with the move out of lockdown Mitre10 has become a very busy place instead.  All those frustrated gardeners and DIYers are finally able to go shopping.   Some Mitre10 team also worked right through to support the building trade and to supply materials for essential repairs.   It was a tiny fraction of normal trade though, something like 4%. “ It’s really good to see our other customers back again.”

Did Conor think people might now prefer to do their all of their shopping online in future?  “I don’t think so, at least with our products.   Most people like to see and touch when they are grocery shopping.  They can read the packaging and check the quality.   At Mitre10 many of the choices are complex. For instance, there might be dozens of very similar types of screws.   You need to see them to decide what you want.   So we plan to have a bricks and mortar business supported by online for a long time yet.”

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