Norbert Dentressangle Transport Services has been appointed by leading French fine wine specialists NICOLAS to provide a bespoke UK transport solution for its 80 UK retail outlets.
Part of the global beverage group Castel, NICOLAS was established in 1822 and has a rich history of providing high quality wines. Today it has over 600 branches worldwide and sells over 1,200 different wines to discerning connoisseurs.
Following its acquisition and re-branding of several Oddbins stores in the UK, NICOLAS wanted to steer away from the dedicated distribution solution it had inherited. It sought a move towards a more tailored service, which could handle its high-value wines with precision and cost effectively via a shared-user network.
Benoit Thouvenin, Operations Director at NICOLAS, comments: "We have based our reputation on catering for the higher end of the wine market, which makes our products very precious, and any accidents during transportation would prove quite costly for our business in a number of ways.
"Norbert Dentressangle has the specialist expertise and the infrastructure to provide a highly accurate and well planned distribution service to our retail outlets but also within a shared network."
From the main NICOLAS warehouse in Paris, Norbert Dentressangle makes over 3,000 collections a year of pre-assembled store orders, which are packed into roll cages for enhanced security and protection. Loads are delivered straight into the Specialist Services depot in Rochester where they are consolidated into full trailer deliveries. The flexible service can also manage peak Christmas trading effectively.
As part of the customised service, the transport specialist makes deliveries to NICOLAS outlets using a two-person team, ensuring customers receive the premium wines in pristine condition. Due to local restrictions, deliveries are also scheduled for specific times at several stores in central London.
Following delivery, the empty roll cages are collected, consolidated into full trailer loads at Rochester and transported to Paris on the return leg.
NICOLAS orders are received electronically via Norbert Dentressangle’s SHARP (Shipment Handling and Reporting Program) system and sent directly to the Specialist Services team for processing. The wine experts also have online access to proof of delivery to track deliveries in real time.
The vehicles used for NICOLAS deliveries all carry on board ramp building equipment used to overcome staircases found at the entrance of some stores for front or rear drop-off points.