iForce, a fast-growing supply chain management business in the UK, enjoyed a record-breaking 2015 as it witnessed a 57.8% growth in the number of items it picked for customers of its retail clients compared to the previous year. The company, which operates online and multi-channel fulfilment centres on behalf of clients such as John Lewis, Maplin, Cath Kidston, Fortnum & Mason, Dunelm and Waitrose Cellar, fulfilled 82.2 m items during the calendar year, compared to 52m in 2014. Its Peak trading period, 21 November 2015 – 2 January 2016, was also a bumper season, with items picked up 24% to 13.9m whilst orders were up 4.8% to 1.6m, pointing to a significant increase in value per order placed online this year compared to last.
This increase in spend per order was also seen across the whole of the year with iForce recording a 14.3% growth in the number of total orders it fulfilled compared with its growth of 57.8% in items picked. This increase in basket spend would point to a growing confidence in the internet and digital sales channels and the ability of retailers to provide an efficient fulfilment and retail experience.
Brian Gaunt, CEO of iForce, said: “iForce has been able to enjoy its most successful and profitable year to date, boosted by continued growth with our existing retail clients and new contract wins. During 2016 we will continue to focus on what we do best; offering retailers innovative software led solutions to the ever changing challenges of modern commerce though iForce Gateway (Fulfilment), iForce Revive (Returns Processing) and iForce Pathfinder (Carrier Management).”
iForce, which also operates returns processing for Tesco, Screwfix and Sainsbury’s, saw a 13.5% year on year growth in the number of returned items processed.
Gaunt added: “The level of returns springing out of the growth of multi-channel retailing is becoming an increasing concern to retailers as consumers move from trying items out in store to trying them at home and then returning items they don’t want. Processing as many of these returned items efficiently and quickly to allow the retailer to sell at full sale cost is of paramount importance for the online and digital sales channels to become profitable.”