A partnership between Menzies Distribution and UK Flooring Direct, launched a week into the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, has proven its ability to adapt to challenging circumstances.

Under the partnership, which had been negotiated over 18 months, Menzies had agreed to offer customers a new in-home delivery service, with one-to-one communication between delivery drivers and the customer, direct delivery into a ground floor room of choice and disposal of the pallet and packaging.

However the introduction of the pandemic lockdown one week into the contract meant the partnership had to rapidly redesign the proposition, with the in-home delivery service switched to outside customers’ homes to ensure health and safety.

Menzies also had to deal with an unexpected rise in online demand which saw a doubling of the forecasted number of consignments as home bound customers switched to online shopping and demand for DIY flooring options grew.

The logistics firm had to plan for the extra volumes, managing it from 15 regional hubs around the country, ranging from Aberdeen to Exeter and from Norwich to Swansea.

Adam Smith, commercial and marketing director at Menzies Distribution, said: “Our new in-home delivery model had been successfully trialled and we were on the cusp of national rollout as the Covid-19 crisis unfolded.

“Through our operational expertise, flexible solutions, ability to increase capacity and partner approach, we were able to prioritise the health and safety of all employees involved in the delivery process along with that of recipient customers.

“We have remodelled the service to a doorstep delivery, ensuring that there were no compromises with customer pre and post-delivery communications and satisfaction.”

Darren Gilbert, chief operating officer at UK Flooring Direct, said: “We were on the verge of announcing our new deal with Menzies just before lockdown as we were all set to move to that new in-home delivery service for our customers.

He added: “Working with Menzies has given us extensive flexibility ensuring our ability to meet the increased demand and they have been incredible to work with, as have the whole team here at UK Flooring Direct."