London retailer Planet Organic has signed a partnership agreement with Howard Tenens Logistics to centralize its supply chain into a dedicated distribution centre in Sunbury-on-Thames.

Currently Planet Organic stores receive stock from around 200 suppliers weekly, with each supplier making individual deliveries to every branch location – an inefficient and carbon-intense system, the store admits – but the new centre will provide all stores with a consolidated daily service.

In a ‘unique’ part of the deal – which Planet says will be revolutionary for the business and customer offering – Howard Tenens Logistics will also be investing in Planet Organic as a shareholder.

“Our supply chain today is just not fit for purpose and absolutely not in line with our Planet Organic ethos,” says the retailer’s recently appointed CEO George Dymond. “By moving to a centralized supply chain, we will dramatically reduce our carbon footprint, as well as make our stores much easier to operate and allow our store colleagues to focus on providing great customer service by removing the need to handle so many deliveries every single day. The new supply chain will also enable us to help support smaller suppliers who may need warehouse information space as they grow.”

By moving to a centralized supply chain, we will dramatically reduce our carbon footprint, as well as make our stores much easier to operate

Adds Karl Hodgkinson, MD of Howard Tenens Logistics: “We are delighted with the new award of business and in becoming a strategic partner of Planet Organic. We are excited to form such a key part of the customer proposition and have been impressed in both the Planet Organic team and business strategy. With our intent to invest in wider partnership, we can further underpin the principal of delivering mutual value for Planet Organic customers, the conjoined and collaborative partnership with Planet Organic’s management team and our colleagues at Sunbury-on-Thames. As one of the UK’s leading privately owned logistics providers, delivering mutual value is a core value.

“Through ongoing delivery, learning and development of carbon reduction strategy, we will fully support Planet Organic in significantly reducing the carbon footprint/impact of its existing supply chain solution and aim to introduce a number of ESG initiatives as part of the overall integration project, to include key sustainable initiatives such as the application of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in place of white diesel, offering a 92% reduction in CO2.”

This move is part of a wider project to ‘revolutionize’ the retailer’s supply chain. Planet Organic is also extending the use of its core ERP system from ITIM to introduce sales forecasting, replenishment and purchasing to drive improved ordering in store as well as recruiting a new supply chain team.

“We have a big growth agenda,” explains Dymond. “We aim to grow our store portfolio significantly, allowing more consumers to access our amazing ranges. We are tremendously excited about today’s announcement and opening the distribution centre at Sunbury with Howard Tenens. They have the expertise, energy and enthusiasm to help us manage our supply chain much more effectively and will leave us to focus on growing our stores and our customer base. By also becoming a shareholder, they are committing, with us, to both grow the business and lower our environmental impact.”