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Originally posted 25th March 2020

Last updated 5th January 2021

COVID-19 Business Operations Update

Factory Direct Flooring Ltd are trading and operating online with some minor restrictions or changes...

Simon Golder

Product Analyst

11 min read
Written by Expert

Factory Direct Flooring are trading and operating online with some minor restrictions or changes to service in effect which you can read a summary of here.

Below you can find the history of our operational updates as they have been announced.

Tue 5th Jan - Warehouse operations and online sales to continue throughout UK Lockdown

In response to the Prime Minister's announcement of a national lockdown on Monday 4th January, we are rigorously following the latest guidance on Covid-19 safety. Our Warehouse team are working within strict social distancing guidelines and with reduced hours so that our online sales and operations can continue as normal throughout the coming months.

Our deliveries are proceeding as normal but there may be some slight delays to some orders over the coming weeks. You can find out more about this on our COVID-19 summary page. Our free samples are still being sent out first class. The office team will continue to work from home, meaning there may be a slight delay with customer services. We would advise customers to email us at [email protected] in the first instance rather than phoning.

In line with restrictions, our Factory Showroom in Hinckley will remain closed until the lockdown is lifted and it is safe to re-open.

Once again, we thank you for your support throughout this turbulent time.

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
12:20 -  Tues 5th Jan 2021

Mon 2nd Nov - Online sales and operations will continue through the November UK Lockdown

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Saturday 31st October, we are closely following all guidance to the New National Restrictions from 5th November. As our operations team continue to work within the strict hygiene and social distancing guidelines - our online services and distribution operations will continue unchanged throughout the temporary November Lockdown.

We wish to advise customers that we are already seeing a huge surge in demand for our products and this is causing some minor stock and shipping delays which we note on our COVID-19 summary page here.

Whilst our Factory Showroom in Hinckley was reopened on 15th June, we will be closing it to the public from Thursday 5th November inline with the new national restrictions coming into effect. Our showroom will re-open as soon as the national restrictions are lifted and we once again take guidelines from local regional tiered restrictions.

Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
13:50 -  Mon 2nd Nov

Thurs 6th Aug - our whole team are now back in our warehouse

Following further investment into the safe operations within our warehouse, we are delighted to announce that since Monday 3rd August, our entire team are now back within our showroom, office and warehouse operations. Due to continued unprecedented demand for our products into August, there are still some delays to shipping as we continue to work through the high volume of orders we are receiving.

In order to assist our customers with preparing for the delivery of their new flooring, we're excited to have today released a new Delivery Date Picker at checkout that allows you to pick the specific day you would like to receive the delivery. Once your order has been placed, you can be assured that your requested delivery date has been booked and we will only contact you in the event of there being a delay to your order.

Adam Mason
Customer Services
Thurs 6th Aug

Thurs 2nd Jul - our warehouse team will soon be back to full strength

With huge demand for our DIY products throughout the past few months, we are pleased to report that we are continuing to operate and facilitate orders taken via our website. From 4th July - more of our warehouse team will be returning to work and we expect to have our entire team back and supporting operations before the end of July. At this challenging time I wish to assure all customers that our team and I are doing our utmost to promptly ship all orders and handle all queries coming into our customer support team.

June has been an exceptionally busy month for us with order volumes up 50% whilst having less resource internally due to restrictions to safeguard our team during the Coronavirus pandemic. I can only apologise to customers who are not able to receive their flooring as quickly as they would like or are having to be patient whilst awaiting a response from our customer support team. We thank you for your continued patience as we continue to do everything possible to maintain the best possible service to our customers.

Second only to the health and wellbeing of our team, shipping orders promptly is if the highest priority and focus within our operations currently. Our usual prompt delivery (and Next Day Delivery option) is currently affected by our supply-chain and distribution partners which is affecting ecommerce businesses up and down the country. We encourage our customers to read through our recent reviews and to take perspective on the challenges facing our business operations that mean we have some restrictions or delays to our service in place.

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
12:58 -  Thurs 2nd Jul

Fri 29th May - There is now no minimum order value

Due to improvements with our operational efficiencies, we are now please to announce that we are accepting orders of all values, whereby there was previously a limit on orders below £100. We wish to stress that during this time we are experiencing severe high-volumes of orders which has our reduced warehouse team working at total capacity. We continue to thank our customers for their patience and understanding during this time as orders are still experiencing slight shipping delays and next-day delivery is still unavailable.

We are also making preparations to re-open our Hinkley showroom from 15th June onwards. Visitations however will be strictly by appointment only which can be arranged by contacting us at [email protected].

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
15:58 - Fri 29th May

Tue 12th May - Please avoid calling us on our landline where possible.

Due to our reduced team numbers and unprecedented high demand, we are struggling to pick-up all calls to our main landline and our messaging system is frequently filling up. For the fastest response by our Customer Support team who are currently working from home, please could you email us in the first instance on [email protected].

We are currently in the process of launching a Live Chat App onto the website, so that our Customer Services team are more accessible and responsive during working hours. Thank you for your continued patience.

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
15:50 - Tue 12th May

Mon 4th May - Minimum order value lowered to £100

With demand continuing to increase across all of our product lines, this weekend saw record numbers of orders placed online at Factory Direct Flooring. Despite the increasing pressures placed on our limited warehouse team, we continue to make progress in evolving our operations that have been restricted in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. The changes we have recently made will enable us to process orders more efficiently whilst maintaining the strict social distancing and sanitisation required for the safety of our team and customers.

I'm delighted to announce today that we have subsequently lowered our temporary minimum order value from £150 to £100 and hope to decrease this further in the coming weeks.

I would also like to dedicate a special thank you in our update this week to the NHS and Key Workers within the UK who continue to serve the people of our great nation.

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
18:50 - Mon 4th May

Mon 27th Apr - Our online business is still operating successfully.

One month on since the Coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of our high street showroom and temporarily limited our ability to operate online; we're pleased to still be offering our flooring and free samples online to UK customers with minimal disruption. Since we reopened our warehouse three weeks ago today, our smaller warehouse and fulfilment team have been working flat-out to keep up with the unprecedented demand.

During this time, I would like to ask our customers to be aware that once a flooring order has been placed - we will be in touch with you as soon as possible to discuss and confirm a delivery date. Your order cannot be dispatched until we've confirmed the delivery date and time with you on this call, so please be aware that your order may be delayed if we are unable to get hold of you when we initially call. Thank you for your understanding at this time and please call us back as soon as possible, should you miss the initial phone call.

I would like to pay tribute to the exceptional team we have at Factory Direct Flooring who are working exceptionally hard to maintain all safety and hygiene standards we continue to have in place.

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
11:13 - Mon 27th Apr.

Thur 16th Apr - Minimum order values have been introduced

Due to continued unprecedented demand we have put in place a minimum order threshold of £150 upwards for flooring orders. As we are operating with a greatly reduced warehouse team and our packing material supply is limited; we are currently unable to process orders for small quantities below £150. Orders for Free Samples will continue to be processed as normal.

Our ability to pack and ship orders remains restricted and as such we have also disabled Next Day Delivery as a checkout option due to our longer lead time for orders at present. Once your order has been placed via our website, we will contact you directly to confirm and arrange a suitable delivery date.

Our priority and duty of care remains the wellbeing of our team who are working in fewer numbers in order to maintain effective social distancing and sanitisation at all times. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time.

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
15:13 - Thurs 16th Apr.

Thurs 9th Apr - Product lines with stock delays are now clearly labelled

Over the past few days, our team have updated our website to clearly label product lines that have stock delivery delays from our suppliers due to the COVID-19 crisis. Anything that is not labelled with this alert is currently in-stock within our own 25,000 square foot warehouse and is available for shipping with only minor delays against our regular times.

Products marked with the red 'Stock Delay' label can still be ordered in full from our website, but they will not be shipped at the moment until the supply-chains recommence which will most likely be when the UK lockdown is relaxed.

Free Samples are unaffected by Stock Delay labels, as we currently have stock of ALL product lines for sending out samples to our customers who may continue order two at a time free of charge.

On behalf of Factory Direct Flooring, I wish to thank the patience and support of all of our customers. Your understanding during this time has been well received by the whole team.

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
8:20am - Thurs 9th Apr.

Mon 6th Apr - Warehouse shipping partially resumed

Following on from the reinstatement of our Free Sample service last Thursday, I'm pleased to report that our warehouse operations have also been partially re-opened with a minimal team. Orders which have been placed and are in-stock since Wed 25th March have now been shipped and customers will have been notified by phone and email of their delivery date.

The safety and wellbeing of our team is our first priority at Factory Direct Flooring and our warehouse operations have (as of today) been partially resumed with a core skeleton team. This team are strictly operating within all government distancing guidelines and are working with safety equipment including masks, gloves and alcohol based hand sanitiser at all times.

Whilst our operations have resumed, there may be a slightly longer lead-time in our processing of your order and the delivery date. In the first instance, once your order has been processed by our fulfilment team - we will call you to confirm and arrange the delivery date and time.

We are also in the process of updating our website to provide clearer stock statuses on all flooring that is currently out of stock within our warehouse or suppliers.

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
16:45pm - Mon 6th Apr.

Thurs 2nd Apr - Free Samples are back

Following last week's announcements I can confirm that we are now able to re-instate our Free Samples service which is now back to normal. I will be personally coming into the Warehouse myself to pick, pack and ship all free samples. All flooring samples will be sent out within 24hrs in our usual padded envelopes via Royal Mail delivery.

We're pleased to announce that Free Samples have been reinstated and can now be ordered through the website. All samples will be promptly shipped via Royal Mail from our warehouse by MD Paul Hambidge.

Shipping of regular flooring orders are still postponed until it is safe for our warehouse team and operations to continue. Our customer services team remain fully operational by working at home and can be contacted via [email protected] for any questions about an existing or future order.

I would once again like to make customers aware that following the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown, we are expecting prices to increase across our supply chain which is why we are allowing customers to place orders in the meantime for future shipping to secure the current low rates.

Thank you to all of our customers for your patience and continued support and understanding through this time.

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
12:45pm - Thr 2nd Apr.

Mon 30th Mar - Customer Services working from home

Further to our announcement last week, Factory Direct Flooring are still operating a restricted service to customers (please read our Wed 25th Mar announcement below). Having put the safety and wellbeing of our team first - I can confirm that our customer services team are now safely operating from home and are contactable via [email protected] for any questions about an existing or future order.

We would like to thank our customers who have continued to support us, and we look forward to resuming our full service operations as soon as it is safe and recommended to do so.

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
11:30am - Mon 30th Mar.

Wed 25th Mar - Showroom Closure & Paused Shipping

I would like to inform all customers of Factory Direct Flooring that as of today we have implemented new measures and temporary changes to our business in light of the Coronavirus pandemic impacting the UK. Factory Direct Flooring has chosen to fully adopt and adhere to all government advice and direction in order to safeguard our employees, customers, suppliers and the general public.

Online Sales - Free Samples

We have suspended the sale of free samples for all products listed on our website. We hope to restore this service line as soon as possible once the advice from the UK government changes.

Online Sales - Flooring Orders

You can still place an online order for packs of flooring for any of our ranges that are listed as in-stock within our warehouse. However, because we have decided to close our warehouses and distribution centre temporarily, your order will not be shipped until it is safe for us to resume our warehouse and distribution operations. We intend to keep customers up-to-date with delivery times as the advice from the government changes.

Any orders placed through our website during this time will be able to make their purchase at our current low rates, as we are expecting prices throughout our supply chain to increase once the situation eases.

We therefore have made the decision to allow online sales to be placed as normal to allow customers to secure their chosen product at our current prices.

Temporary Showroom Closure

Effective today - our flooring showroom located at 2 Hollier's Walk, Hinckley will be temporarily closed until further notice.

Today we are also in the process of making the necessary arrangements for our Customer Support Team to be able to work from home to continue to fulfil all questions, orders and support for our customers.

We thank you for your support and understanding at this time,

Paul Hambidge
Managing Director
9:10am - Wed 25th Mar.

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About the Author

Simon Golder, Product Analyst

Simon has been a key team player with over 20 years experience, he started his love of wood as a carpenter before joining our team. He is heavily involved with every product that we offer, looking at all the key aspects including finishes, colours and performance. Simon is responsible for all of the images shown throughout our website, making sure that we give the very best realistic view of all our products.