DHL Supply Chain and health food chain Holland & Barrett have set up a new pop-up e-commerce fulfilment centre.

The operation was set up in just 48 hours, after an initial surge in online orders as a result of the nationwide lockdown and a "dramatic shift" into categories not normally purchased online.

Holland & Barrett’s volumes have doubled on a daily basis since the lockdown began, which it said had outstripped the design capacity of the existing e-commerce operation.

As well as setting up a ‘fulfill from store' home delivery option, the new DHL facility in Crick, Northamptonshire, has enabled the business to clear an order backlog and go on to process thousands of new orders every day.

DHL explained that the new pop-up fulfillment solution is designed to support retail and consumer businesses adjusting to high street closures and a move to online shopping.

Underpinned by an existing e-commerce infrastructure, it is quick and simple to set up, catering equally for businesses new to e-commerce, or providing overflow for those dealing with significant increases in volumes.

The service works on a 'pay as you go' basis and can manage up to 10,000 orders from day one of being operational.

The fulfilment centre operates the highest standards of health and safety and follows social distancing guidelines as set out by Public Health England.

Holland & Barrett group supply chain and logistics director Gavin Chappell 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.”

Martin Willmor, MD specialist services at DHL Supply Chain, added: “Retail and consumer brands have had to make an overnight switch to a new way of serving customers. For many, especially those who have had to create an e-commerce proposition from scratch, this has been a steep learning curve, but even those with established e-comm operations have found it challenging to meet online demand and keep their customer service promises.

"Our hope is that this service supports the retail and FMCG industries through the immediate crisis and gives them a route to recovery.”