Well, I had not expected to get a reply for the horses mouth :-) and I thank Richard for that.
Hattons may well have a massive stock but its been my experience that while I can fairly confidently order things from you it takes at least a week to arrive. Also, when I order say six wagons, why is the postage not £4 on the parcel, in fact it is second class? So I pay extra for the post and still have to wait longer. I except that things may improve with your new processes in place.
Not trying to get at you directly as indeed I am a happy customer, however its clear that other companies do not charge as much (postage) and can offer a quicker service?
Second point, I know some mail order shops will do postage at cost, but these same shops also give you 'post free' if you order over a given amount. I am sure I probably just don't understand, but £4 is in most cases £2 more than others.
Hattons have traditionally been the company which takes the lead with setting the prices for shipping. We don't make any money on shipping and I'm fairly certain that other mail-order retailers will follow us and move to around the £4 mark.
I'm confident that we satisfy the majority of customers with regard to fulfilment time of orders - we have despatched over 470 parcels in the last
2 days which goes to show just how we can respond to surges in demand. I've seen, first hand, the packing departments of some of our major competitors and am confident that Hattons has got the best organisational structure.
Another factor which needs to be taken into account, is the type of items which you have ordered from the retailer. Some of our competitors are only interested in selling locos which have higher profit per item, whilst we have a massive range of products (and actually have them in stock!) which means that there is a large variance in the types of parcels which we have to pack. If you are going to compare delivery times, then you need to ensure that you are comparing equivalent orders.
In the new year, Hattons will have a new customer/stock/order management system, which will reduce the time it takes to place orders, make it easier to track their progress and also reduce the time it takes to get it to the customer.
You'd also probably get an answer to this by searching the Google archive. A similar question came up a few weeks ago