Kevin Glynn, co-founder and Dave Nolan, co-founder, Butternut Box.
1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?
There is a huge amount for us to be optimistic about at Butternut. Truth be told, we feel like we are only just getting started. Our focus has always been, and will continue to be, around our customer (both dog and human) and when we think about opportunities, we position them around what would be best for them. This year we are most excited about increasing our range, improving the convenience of our service, and we will also be expanding into international markets. All of that will hopefully help us live out our purpose of delivering health and happiness to dogs and their humans all over the world.
2. What is the biggest challenge to your business?
We are scaling rapidly and given that growth we anticipate the coming years will bring the (fun) challenge of making sure our culture and customer experience scales. We look forward to it, as they’re both at the heart of everything we do. We’ll also have a much bigger operational footprint as a result, so the execution that is required to deliver on that is certainly top of mind.
3. With the benefit of hindsight what would you have done differently so far?
Honestly, nothing. That is not to say we’ve gotten everything right, far from it actually, but the journey over the past five years has been incredible for us and we would not change a thing about it.
4. What is the future of the physical store and the high street?
Our view is that the online shift that we have seen due to Covid-19 is more structural than temporary and as such we do not see things reverting back to the mean. We believe we have pre-empted a lot of what was going to happen in the coming years, and thankfully the majority of the infrastructure was in place to facilitate the change. When it comes to innovation on the high street/physical store you don’t have to look too far in terms of what is happening with the likes of Amazon GO and Alibaba’s Freshippo stores to show that speed, convenience, personalisation, along with seamless mobile interactions are going to be the paths forward in the coming 5-10 years.
5. What technology-related plans have you got for the next 12 months?
We are looking to double the size of our product & engineering teams in the coming 12 months as we continue our online focus as a business. This hiring will enable us to launch our app in the second half of this year, unlock our international plans, and continue to release customer-facing features at a high velocity.
6. What other retailers/brands do you admire?
We have three that spring to mind: Amazon for its ability to be so long-term in its thinking; Tesla for the positive impact it has had on its industry; and Stripe for the rate at which it delivers for the customer.
7. Who would you place in the Top 25 Movers & Shakers in Retail?
Pip from Pip & Nut.