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Hoppecke defies downturn

Thursday, 29 April 2021 ( #1023 ) - Newcastle-under-Lyme, United Kingdom
Hoppecke's sales continue to rise
Hoppecke's sales continue to rise
Hoppecke Industrial Batteries saw a significant uplift in sales in the UK against the backdrop of a market downturn. While the market for motive power batteries was down around 25% in 2020/21, the European brand bucked the trend, growing sales by more than 15%. General manager Stuart Browne says: "It's been a tough year, and like everyone, we've had to adapt. We've coped well and our achievement is due, in part, to some key strategic planning to mitigate any fallout from Brexit. However, it's largely thanks to a team effort to pull together and support customers throughout the pandemic." Coronavirus put the spotlight on logistics and its vital influence on the UK's economic fortunes. This was especially evident as wholesalers and producers worked with supermarkets to keep the shelves stocked. At the same time, consumers got accustomed to shopping online for just about anything. In general, the pandemic has given people cause to think about logistics, particularly how products get from A to B. It's clear that carriers and haulage firms are increasingly important to supply chain success, Browne explains. Hoppecke implemented robust plans to ensure it was well-prepared for Brexit. Over the course of 2020, the company geared up to ensure a seamless transition. As a result, it was business as usual from 1 January 2021. Maintaining good stock levels throughout the year ensured an uninterrupted supply of motive power batteries and chargers for Hoppecke's UK customers. This approach also meant that, whatever the outcome of trade talks with the European Union, Hoppecke could satisfy customer requirements. Bringing in extra stock in the months leading up to Christmas avoided delays at the ports so products were readily available. In fact, these preparations enabled Hoppecke to achieve over 200% of its motive power battery sales target for the month of December. All employees at Hoppecke's UK headquarters in Staffordshire have been retained, boosting business stability. The company has also taken on temporary workers in its busy warehouse. Browne adds that Hoppecke is committed to battery assembly, sales, rental, refurbishment and servicing in the UK for the long term. "We're hoping for a less volatile 2021/22 and look forward to seeing those businesses most severely impacted by COVID-19 bounce back," he says. As reported last week, many materials handling importers in the UK have been affected by Brexit. Overall trade volumes with Europe crashed in January and even the improved February import figures were down 11.5%.

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