New Year - New Us!
The year has barely started to draw to a close but we are sitting on some exciting news for 2022 that is too exciting not to share with you now. Changes that will transform and streamline our online business enabling us to provide a truly first class service for all of our lovely customers.
Those of you that have been with us from the start might recall our very humble beginnings, a tiny online business run by Georgia from the spare room of our house! In the six years that have followed, amidst the birth of babies, a global pandemic and Brexit we have slowly grown to the business you know now, with a bricks and mortar store in the heart of Brighton's bustling North Laine and a warehouse distribution centre along the coast in Newhaven.
Junior Edition is still very much a family affair, supported by a small and hard-working team across both locations, all of whom we will be introducing you to over the coming weeks so you can start to put faces to names.
We expanded our online business into a warehouse in Newhaven back in 2019. The e-commerce side of the business is headed up by our wonderful Warehouse Manager Joe and supported by Mark and Clare, all of whom you are likely to have dealt with via email if you have ever had any enquiries.
The responsibilities of the Warehouse team are far reaching, from managing new deliveries, picking, packing and despatching orders to answering incoming emails, often all at the same time!
Joe has been with us for nearly two years now, weathering the challenges of Covid and Brexit, both of which have been all-consuming logistically. Joe originally trained as a teacher but came to us from an e-commerce and warehousing company specialising in educational toys and has done so much to help improve efficiencies at the warehouse. He's the linchpin of our online business and an all round lovely guy to boot!
Clare joined us just over 18 months ago, having lost her job during lockdown. Meticulously well-organised with an incredible eye to detail, she has been instrumental in developing and implementing procedures that have contributed to the smooth-running of the e-commerce business. We would be lost without her!
Mark is our very lovely newbie. He joined us a couple of months ago and is busy learning the ropes. Mark is the man on the other end of your emails and will be your first point of contact when any email enquiries are sent our way. Hailing from a retail customer service background, he brings with him a wealth of experience, is super personable and always smiling. We are thrilled to have him onboard.
With the right team and skill-set now in place we are really excited about some changes to the e-commerce side of the business that will greatly improve your online shopping experience with us. For two weeks across Christmas and the New Year we will be building a mezzanine level at the warehouse which is going to transform how efficiently we can process and despatch your orders.
Currently, stock is split between the shop in Brighton and warehouse in Newhaven. What this means for many orders is that we have to facilitate an overnight transfer between the two locations. It's an admin heavy and time-consuming process that has been impacting our ability to get orders out as quickly as we would like to you.
Getting this right is a mammoth task. The building work itself is huge and disruptive and the transfer and complete re-organisation of stock and systems bigger still. And so, for a two week period from Saturday 18th December to Wednesday 5th January, the warehouse will not be operational and the warehouse team will be taking an extra week of annual leave to overindulge in mince pies and terrible telly.
Whilst this will not affect your ability to shop online and place orders in the same way as usual, there will be a delay in processing orders after the last shipping day before Christmas and until our all-singing, all-dancing, brand spanking new warehouse re-opens in January. And, given the accumulation of orders placed during that period we would anticipate it taking several weeks from opening again to pick, pack and despatch all orders placed during the period of closure.
We kindly ask you to bear in mind the anticipated delay in delivery when placing orders during our warehouse closure and would suggest shopping early in December for those must-have pieces over the Christmas and early New Year period. For less urgently required items we would be thrilled if you could please support and continue to shop with us whilst our warehouse is re-vamped, it really will be all hands on deck as soon as we are open again to get orders out to you as quickly as possible.
We are REALLY excited about what this will mean for our customers going forward. It will be a game-changer in terms of the speed in which we can despatch your goodies to you and will create greater efficiencies in all other areas of the business too, from improving our carbon footprint to being able to answer email enquiries more speedily.
The rest of the business will be open as usual during this time, if you are local or visiting Brighton for the day you will still be able to pop into the shop and see us. It's actually one of my favourite times of year here, less crowds, a lovely atmosphere and a visit to the ice rink at the Royal Pavilion is a must.
Huge thanks for your continued support during this transitional period, and roll on an all new shopping experience with Junior Edition in 2022!