As one of the ‘non-essential’ nursery retailers which have been ordered to close under the current UK coronavirus restrictions, Yorkshire-based Kiddies Kingdom is taking the current lockdown in its stride, as PreschoolNews.net found out.
“The latest government lockdown announcement is, of course, disappointing for all businesses, including retailers, but we understand the need for the government to act,” said managing director, Mohammed Patel.
“For each lockdown, retailers have had very little notice and this lack of time to prepare has caused disruption to stock, processes and staffing for many businesses. Our support goes out to both independent and franchise retailers during this turbulent time. The long-term impacts of repeat closures will no doubt be severe for many, with jobs lost and, in some cases, businesses going bust.”
As a business, Kiddies Kingdom has not been impacted too heavily by lockdown restrictions, other than the closure of its physical showroom, thanks to a strong e-commerce foundation which allows it to react quickly and effectively to any sudden increase in demand.
“We’ve been able to be in full operation during the pandemic without compromising on safety, which puts us in an incredibly strong position,” Mohammed explained.
“We have focused on being as proactive as possible in our approach, putting a host of procedures in place, not just temporarily, but for the long run. Our focus moving forward remains to meet demand and ship products as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
January is traditionally the busiest retail month for Kiddies Kingdom, so additional measures have been put in place this year, allowing the team to scale up resource to meet demand. This also sets the groundwork with an elasticated approach for other spikes throughout the year, with resources and staff both readily available if needed.
“As a team, we have adapted very quickly to the changes brought on by the Covid-19 lockdown and are proud to be taking these obstacles in our stride,” Mohammed said. “We have a concise team and our warehouses are laid out to allow staff to continue picking and packing as normal, without compromising on the social distancing restrictions. Collaborative tools help to ensure everyone is on track and nobody feels stressed or overworked.”
A new 48,000 sq ft warehouse helps the team meet the increased demand while also being able to offer later cut-off times for next-day delivery services.
Following on from the peak in sales caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, Mohammed’s plan for the coming weeks and months is to take advantage of the time that consumers are spending online by focusing on social channels, while always continuing to “grow and expand organically”.