Charles Bentley & Sons launches dropship service for retailers

DIY tools, hardware and janitorial supplier Charles Bentley & Sons has revealed a new dropship service, enabling retailers to expand their range without a major upfront investment.

Launching at NEC's Glee show, Charles Bentley & Sons will run the dropship service from its 202,000 sq ft warehouse in Loughborough, which will operate as a fulfilment centre. The firm will stock, pack and dispatch products directly to customers on behalf of retailers looking to expand into new product lines.

Now other businesses will be able to echo the success of Charles Bentley & Son’s ecommerce operation, BuyDirect4U, which has reached a £10 million annual turnover after launching in 2005. The company has used dropship to develop its own catalogue, which now includes 1,500 products and has increased the average number of visitors to its website to 100,000 per month.

The launch of the dropship service has coincided with a rebrand for the business, which started out providing brushes for Victorian chimney sweepers. It is now a multi-million pound operation.

Charles Bentley, Managing Director, said: “We have trialled our new dropship operation with two major British omni-channel retailers, and following its success we are now rolling this out nationally by offering independent retailers and garden centres access to our expanding product portfolio of Charles Bentley branded products.

“The major benefit this fulfilment strategy offers to retailers is that it minimises risk and cost; they do not have to invest in stock or the warehouse space to store it, which offers an avenue of expansion that does not require major investment. The new service will be available across a wide range of products, so retailers can use this to trial new product lines and as we pack, pick and ship on the retailer’s behalf they can also save time.

“We are really pleased with the success of this service so far and expect it to become popular with a range of retailers, particularly those that are looking for an easy way to sell online for first time.”