The World’s Oldest Department Store Invests in Delivery Vehicles

The World’s Oldest Department Store Invests in Delivery Vehicles

Bennetts: The World’s Oldest Department Store has returned to its roots and invested in a fleet of vehicles to ensure its centuries-old reputation for customer service is matched in the modern world of online shopping.

Bennetts returned to the virtual high street last Autumn with the official launch of a new retail website and sales of family gifts, home, garden accessories, food and drink have since soared.

Derby businessman Paul Hurst – best known for restoring and reopening The Old Bell Hotel in nearby Sadler Gate – bought the fixed assets and goodwill of Bennetts back in October 2019.

He and his team are still working hard to secure premises so that the physical Bennetts store can return to Derby’s Cathedral Quarter and he explained the reasons behind the further investment in the online retail side of the business.

Mr Hurst said: “Bennetts has always been synonymous with great products, competitive prices and enviable customer service since the store opened in Derby in 1734 and we were adamant that this should be emulated online.

“We therefore carefully chose the best brands at comparable prices.

“Customer service has included ensuring all customer enquiries are answered personally and that all stock advertised is available in the Derby warehouse, so that we can hand pack immediately with lovely finishing touches and next day delivery.

“However, the one area of the business that we did not have control of was delivery.

“We recently found 1970’s drawings in the archives of the Bennetts delivery van livery. This set the wheels in motion for introducing our latest fleet of delivery vehicles.

“Having our own vehicles gives us complete control and flexibility as well as ensuring that all parcels are delivered with the care and attention they received when being picked and packed in our warehouse. 

“As the Bennetts online offering has grown, we were surprised to find that two areas that have proved incredibly popular are London and Scotland. So much so, that we now have one vehicle designated to national deliveries and one serving our loyal local customers. It really is great seeing Bennetts become very popular on a nationwide scale.” 

The new vehicles are also amongst the greenest on the roads. All Bennetts vehicles are Euro 6d – TEMP which means that they comply with the very latest version of emissions standards as well as being perfectly primed for delivering in implemented low-emission zones up and down the country. 

They are also fitted with pro connect technology which enables us to keep a close eye on their exact progress when delivering and ensuring that they are taking the most efficient route, furthering our green credentials.

Customers who have had parcels delivered by Bennetts have been straight on the phone complimenting the team on their friendly manner and the incredible level of customer service that they have received. 

Over the coming weeks, Bennetts is also to launch its own same day delivery service for customers based in the Derby area. 

Mr Hurst added: “This is the perfect example of the power of small businesses such as ourselves who have the flexibility to swiftly make changes that make a huge difference to the customer experience.” 

Mr Hurst continued that he remained ‘extremely confident’ that Bennetts would return in a new 21st century guise that would bring a much-needed vibrant retail theatre experience to the city centre.

He explained: “Our plan was always to maintain the Bennetts brand online alongside working to secure the right premises for the physical store.

“Negotiations are on-going but we hope to see announce progress very soon.

“In the meantime, we are excited about the new summer ranges that will feature on the website and are confident that customer loyalty will be even greater now that we have the delivery quality in our control.”


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