Old models increasingly float customers’ boats

Brought to you by Retail Insider and K3 Retail

Books and vinyl records should have been consigned to the dustbin by now – brushed aside by the digital revolution – if the earlier forecasts were to have been believed. But they are having something of a renaissance in just the same way as the seemingly dead milkman is also having a bit of a return to life.

Renaissance of an icon.

The last memories I have of the milkman my parents used was of his milk float delivering not only glass bottles of milk but also a variety of other things including breads, soft drinks, yogurts and other foodstuffs.

It is in this broader role of home delivery provider for various goods that is helping the milkman (and I’m sure milk women too nowadays) make a return to our streets. Among the firms riding this burgeoning wave is Milk & More that describes itself as a ‘farm shop on wheels’. It provides around 200 locally sourced food products that can be ordered online up until 9pm for delivery the next morning at around 7am.

The business was on the brink of collapse when it was part of Dairy Crest but under its present ownership it is enjoying some serious growth. A sizeable £20 million is to be invested in the company that will be used to upgrade its IT systems and roll-out a new fleet of over 200 electric milk floats that will replace the old diesel vans. The move to electric power very much adds to the appeal of Milk & More that chimes with people’s shift towards sustainability.

This is also fuelling demand for the company’s glass bottles. In the past month alone Milk & More has attracted 7,000 new customers of which 90% want their milk delivered in the iconic glass bottles.

Home delivery, locally sourced products, sustainably powered vehicles, and reusable packaging all appeal to a growing number of consumers who are increasingly conscious of the impact they are having on society and the environment.

It is interesting that the business models that are resonating so well with these individuals hark back to previous eras. It therefore seems a sensible move for all retailers and brand owners to take a look into the past in order to help them determine what business practices they should now be adopting if they want to position themselves strongly for the future.

Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider

K3 Retail partners with businesses to provide connected technologies based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 so retailers can reach their goals now and in the future. In a size that best fits future plans wherever you need it – Cloud, Hybrid or On-premise. Our solutions drive more than 800 international retail brands from Charles Tyrwhitt and The White Company to Ryman and Sue Ryder, Hobbycraft, Wasabi and Ted Baker, K3 Retail is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and the UK’s leading Microsoft Dynamics retail partner.