iForce, the e-fulfilment and reverse logistics specialist, has officially opened The Fort, a new 164,000 sq ft warehouse facility in Birmingham. The site is handling the fulfilment requirements of Boots.com Direct Ltd, the internet trading arm of health and beauty retailer Boots PLC.
Situated between Junctions 5 and 6 of the M6 motorway, The Fort will stock and process the full range of products found in a large Boots high street store plus over 1000 additional lines.
Managed by experienced staff, The Forts layout has been designed to enable an effective and efficient flow of product both in and out of the facility. With everything from a single stick of lipstick to a running machine available on the Boots.com website, Boots.coms operation sees iForce combining two of its core competences: e-fulfilment and reverse logistics.
Boots.com Direct Ltd awarded iForce a four year fulfilment contract early in 2006. The company had previously managed its fulfilment operation in-house, but chose to form a partnership with a specialist provider to ensure that, as its web-based business grows, its on-line customer service promise meets the same high standards as consumers expect from its stores. iForce was able to demonstrate its expertise in the field and could point to the success of the e-fulfilment contracts it manages on behalf of such well known retailers as John Lewis Direct and House of Fraser. Initially Boots.com will utilise slightly more than half of the space available at The Fort.
Following an excellent performance in 2005, Boots.com, has targeted year-on-year growth of in excess of 40 per cent for the next three to five years.
"Our partnership with iForce will ensure that Boots.com has the capacity and operational efficiencies in place to delight the on-line health and beauty shopper now and in the coming years," commented Brian Linnington, Managing Director, Boots.com Direct Limited
Mark Hewitt, Chief Executive Officer of iForce, commented: iForce will provide Boots.com with market leading, flexible and efficient operational support from The Fort. We won this contract based on our unrivalled knowledge and expertise in this specialist field together with our reputation for operational excellence, great client service and performance.
The online retail market is growing rapidly and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Boots.com to help drive their business forward in this high growth market segment