Covid-19: Holland & Barrett expands eCommerce capacity with DHL

Holland & Barrett has significantly expanded its eCommerce capacity by making use of DHL’s pop-up fulfilment centre based in Northants. The move has helped the health food retailer meet a huge surge in online orders during the Covid-19 crisis, with volumes doubling on a daily basis in the days following the introduction of lockdown measures.

The facility has enabled Holland & Barrett to clear an order backlog as well as process thousands of new orders each day as the crisis continues.

The facility was set-up in just 48 hours by DHL and Holland & Barrett after demand for the latter’s products online outstripped its existing eCommerce operation in the early stages of Covid-19. This was partly due to a substantial shift into products not normally purchased online.

Gavin Chappell, group supply chain & logistics director at Holland and Barrett said: “In these unprecedented times with many customers confined to home, it’s vital that we can continue serving them. As an essential retailer, we play an important role in helping keep the country nourished and healthy, especially for customers with specific health issues. In collaboration with DHL, we were able to quickly set up a solution which has helped us get orders into the hands of customers and gives us peace of mind that we can manage ongoing online demand while maintaining the level of service our customers expect from us.”

The retailer has also introduced a ‘fulfill from store’ home delivery option to help it manage the spike in demand.

DHL’s pop-up solution is underpinned by an existing eCommerce structure. Able to process up to 10,000 orders from being operational, it is designed to help both retailers moving into eCommerce for the first time, or those struggling to meet increased demands as a result of Covid-19.

The service is available on a pay-as-you-go basis and operates according to the government’s social distancing guidelines.

The move is one of many new collaborations retailers have undertaken to expand their eCommerce capacity during the crisis, such as Morrison's partnership with Deliveroo.