Wiltshire butchers adapts delivery service to beat lockdown

Wiltshire butchers adapts delivery service to beat lockdown

Walter Rose & Son, a catering butcher based in Devizes, Wiltshire, is celebrating the success of its e-commerce and online delivery service after lockdown threatened 97% of its business.

Walter Rose & Son directors, Charlie (left) and Jack Cook.

Following the shutdown of the foodservice and hospitality industry in March, the butchers, which typically delivers its products from Manchester to Devon and even the south of France, quickly built on its existing, lesser-known home delivery service and invested in a temporary e-commerce website to cope with the upsurge in online sales of meat.

Jack Cook, director at Walter Rose & Son, said: “Our home delivery service has always been gladly taken-up by customers, but never to this extent, this is unprecedented.

“The increased demand for home delivery helped to soften the blow felt from the closure of cafes, pubs, hotels and restaurants. We’ve introduced new products and are promoting to our database and social media audience on a daily basis. We are working hard to ensure customers feel safe and confident to shop locally and continue to receive top quality, locally-sourced meat and deli goods.”

“Of course, we felt an initial loss of custom from the catering sector with only a small number of these foodservice providers continuing to sell takeaways, but having a really strong team that’s been able to pitch-in and cope with the extra demand…”

Latest market data from Kantar has shown growth in online sales for butchers, with online retailers attracting 5 million meat, fish and poultry shoppers.

Director, Charlie Cook, said: “Of course, we felt an initial loss of custom from the catering sector with only a small number of these foodservice providers continuing to sell takeaways, but having a really strong team that’s been able to pitch-in and cope with the extra demand, as well as operate a fleet of vans, means we’ve been able to respond to changes quickly and serve an increased demand of customers seeking deliveries to their door.”

Walter Rose & Son has also been working with Wiltshire County Council to distribute ‘paid forward’ meat boxes to vulnerable families facing food poverty across the county. Local children’s charities, as well as charities for the homeless and vulnerable, have also benefited from the initiative.

Jack Cook, also director of Walter Rose & Son, added: “Many of our elderly customers are continuing to place orders by telephone as they regularly would but we’ve seen a huge increase in orders being placed online. Being adaptive and flexible has helped us to maintain services to our loyal and growing customer base.”

Walter Rose & Son says it can now boast a healthy online trade, great shop sales and is preparing for the return of the foodservice sector, with many hotels and restaurants placing orders for the reopening on the 4th July.

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