Nickolls and Perks are specialists in fine wine and quality spirits. Being a family run business dating back to 1797, they’ve certainly experienced great changes over the years! Yet recent times have presented somewhat of a different challenge for businesses. With a 250,000 strong global client base, we asked Will Gardener, Managing Director from Nickolls and Perks, how the recent changes have affected their business.
- How has business changed for you recently?
We are lucky to be in an international sector and have international trade, with international export now equating to half of our business. So far, online sales have been very good and online orders have been resilient. Retail has been difficult but this has been the case for the last couple of years.
The second lockdown has proved better than the first. We’re slightly down this quarter yet comparable to last year and we’re thankfully on course for a similar set of results.
- Are you prepared for Brexit?
We’re slightly concerned due to the impending issues going into the New Year. But we have a strong global client base so we’re not as worried as we could be.
- Have you seen online sales boom? How are you future proofing this? And has this altered how will you do business going forward?
We experienced an initial boom on a local level with huge interest in customers supporting local businesses. Our suppliers have been great and have had added value for money. The Bordeaux 2019 en primeur campaign has been very successful, pricing was reduced across the board which customers absolutely loved.
May to July proved to be a fantastic sales period with that period proving to be the busiest it had been for a number of years. The retail shop reopened in July but has since closed with the second lockdown, leading to a drop in sales. We are committed to keeping a physical presence on the high street and are keeping a close eye on how purchasing habits change in the future.
- How are you preparing for Christmas and how is NetSuite helping you?
NetSuite has been very useful – having access to a system all in the cloud. It would have been very difficult to do this on our old Sage system.
WineSuite, the leading cloud wine business management solution, has been very useful, there is so much to learn! Controlling stock, invoicing, reporting, for example, has been great and we want to get better at fully utilising the functionality NetSuite offers.
- When did you peak for Christmas?
Early December is our busiest time online.
- Is it too late to get orders in for Christmas gifts?
Absolutely not! Last minute purchases can still be made through our website: https://www.nickollsandperks.co.uk/
- What are your bestsellers? Any Christmas gift recommendations?
Our Classic Christmas Collection is one of our bestsellers, offering six bottles of white or red from various regions. Our whisky and spirit gift packs make the perfect gift. We even have own brand of gin and whisky!
- How does using WineSuite compare to how you used to work? Does this help with peak season?
We are happy with how WineSuite has performed. Tasks get completed automatically and the whole system is so much slicker. We’re sending out more orders, and the system hugely helps the process and helps customer service which is key to business growth. Thanks to WineSuite, we can also answer queries a lot quicker.
- What’s your best Christmas drink recommendation?
Has to be champagne on Christmas Day and a nice burgundy with the turkey.
- What events do you hold?
We usually organise festivals and events in person but have quickly adapted to virtual tasting events. We have been hosting a couple of virtual events a week and have even had a celebrity join in! These events provide a unique experience with people being able to take part from the comfort of their own home. They present a fantastic opportunity for us to connect with people from much further afield.
A good example of the surge in event uptake is our upcoming Graham’s port tasting event, celebrating its 200th anniversary. Over 60 tickets have been sold - almost double the number of tickets sold last year. With events now being hosted virtually, this means more people can attend and no travel is required.
Our aim is to continue with virtual events into the next year regardless of the pandemic situation. The events are scalable and are more profitable…but most importantly, we’ve found a new way to reach out to new faces.
FHL are pleased to support Nickolls and Perks as it continues to grow from strength to strength. Find out more on how NetSuite, the world’s number 1 cloud business software solution, or WineSuite, the leading cloud wine business management solution, can benefit your business.