Urban Outfitters is an American multinational clothing retailer which offers a variety of lifestyle merchandise to highly defined customer niches. Its range of bohemian, hipster, vintage, retro and ironically humorous styles are successful across a number of geographies. In addition to its significant bricks and mortar presence, in the EU Urban Outfitters also has a strong website presence which further extends the brand’s reach as it offers international delivery across 122 countries.
With such a significant global strategy the right logistics partner is vital to Urban Outfitters’ European business. In addition to delivering a high quality, professional service maintaining a local feel is important to Urban Outfitters and a key requisite when looking for a logistics partner.
Urban Outfitters said: “In addition to finding a partner that could offer a professional and cost effective service we also wanted to find someone that is culturally aware. We recognise that local markets have local requirements and, therefore, the final mile is just as important as the rest of the journey.” Known for the importance it places on local knowledge wnDirect really resonated with Urban Outfitters.
They continued: “We met wnDirect at an industry conference and were really impressed with them. Our carrier at the time was delivering parcels quickly but it was costing us a fortune. They hadn’t taken the time to explain any options to us, nor work in partnership. They simply did the job, and charged us for it.” Following the initial meeting there was a period of discussion and negotiation which impressed Urban Outfitters.
"wnDirect are different to many other businesses we have worked with before. They took the time to explain all of the options to us and were able to educate our team. It wasn’t just the information sharing that impressed us but also wnDirect’s transparency and honesty."
“From the outset we felt like a ‘team’. They were very open about where they could add value to us as a business and where they couldn’t. This made sure we had a very clear understanding and expectations from the beginning.”
wnDirect launched with Urban Outfitters just before Christmas 2014.
“This really wasn’t an ideal time to launch and was unplanned. The reality is that one of our other carriers let us down and wnDirect helped us deliver this volume. They did an excellent job for us and ensured we didn’t lose business at a crucial time. We ended up using this period as our ‘trial’ and have since expanded into 12 lanes.
“The fact that our relationship with wnDirect started with them helping us with an issue not only speaks volumes, but also reflects the kind of business they are. They are relaxed, yet informative. They don’t put pressure on you to fit in with their way of working but, instead, are happy to work at your pace and within your constraints. This was so refreshing. They don’t overpromise but often over-deliver.”
wnDirect believes that knowledge is king and, as such, works hard to develop a comprehensive understanding of the markets it enters and the various nuances. Before opening a new lane wnDirect implants a team and sets about gathering as much knowledge as possible about the destination. They also work hard to stay on top on any issues which occur, preferring to be the ones to share such business critical information with their customers.
Jonathan Matchett, UK Managing Director at wnDirect said:
“No one likes to be the one to impart bad news, but the reality is that our business can be fraught with issues outside of our control such as weather concerns or flight delays. And, sometimes, things just go wrong. We believe we have failed if our customer has to ask us what is going wrong. That leaves us on the back-foot; a place we work hard never to be.”
They continued: “wnDirect is the only carrier that offers a truly one person contact. We feel genuinely looked after and are confident that our business is a priority. Their Nursery Desk solution which helps onboard new retailers really is fantastic and makes the transition period smooth and hassle free. Anyone we speak to knows our brand and our business. Everyone we interact with at wnDirect has offered great service.
A lot of businesses talk about being innovative, in fact it has become the must-have descriptor featuring in mission statements around the world. However, there is a big difference between using the phrase and having it at the heart of everything you do. At wnDirect innovative thinking has driven a number of exciting product and service launches and keeps everyone in the business on their toes as they aspire to look for the next game changer."
They continued: “wnDirect is an incredibly forward thinking business We are excited about the new services they develop and there is a real buzz from within Urban Outfitters to use them as we can see how they will enable our brand to be seen as forward thinking. They are a carrier which works well across all areas of our business, from finance, operations and customer services.
“Other logistics companies think about how to deliver parcels faster or cheaper. wnDirect thinks differently. That’s not to say that the bottom line isn’t important to them, it is, in fact wnDirect has brought us considerable cost savings which have resulted in a 30% reduction in undeliverables. But they also think about eCommerce as a whole and how they can add value to the retailers they work with. wnDirect is changing the nature of logistics; They offer an entire Logistics solution, rather than just delivery.