Innovative and creative solutions – keeps outdoor superstore ahead of the competition

Go Outdoors, the UK’s largest outdoor retailer is continually looking for ways to improve the customer experience. From the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff employed in every store, to the way a direct mailer arrives and is presented to the customer in their own home, attention to detail and delivering an enjoyable and satisfying experience is a company priority.

With the aim of standing out from the crowd, the company is constantly challenging the norm and looking at ways to enhance the brand. Despite delivering 1.7 million mailers every month, the team readily trials new papers and formats to add value to the suite of marketing items which includes a family brochure, monthly mailers, in store promotional materials and inserts to accompany Internet orders.

Challenge

Monthly Mailers
The Go Outdoors team was keen to improve the speed to market of their monthly mailers, whilst increasing the number being printed and mailed every month. They also wanted to increase the off-page selling space and respond to customer feedback, which told them that they needed to improve the way the envelopes opened.

The brief to the Y M Group was to achieve all of the above, without increasing costs, so the teams got around the table to talk about how this could be achieved.

Solution

Previously polywrapped, the mailers are now printed and endorse folded at York, then encapsulated into a printed paper wrap around at Lettershop. This means that the product is completely sealed and provides an additional area for product promotion. Working closely with the Lettershop team, a zipper solution was evolved which opens easily and leaves no glue residue on the envelope. The mailer contents are kept intact and the promotional area on the outer wrapper undamaged.

The whole pack is printed on environmentally sustainable paper, which is more appealing to the Go Outdoors target customer, and also qualifies for a full sustainable advertising mail discount with Royal Mail. Moving from a large letter to small letter mailing format further reduces mailing costs.

Speed to Market

Both teams worked hard to put steps in place to ensure the mailers could be produced in large volumes to a tighter time scale. Procedures ranging from how pallets are packed through to the staffing on the finishing line have all been tailored to suit Go Outdoors specific requirements.

Something for everyone

Once in store, Go Outdoors customers are encouraged to take a Family Brochure, which showcases the wider range of specialist equipment from hiking and equestrian to fishing and camping. This 92 page brochure contains the very latest product information and requires an extremely quick production turnaround.

By printing the brochure on a short grain press at Pindar, paper wastage is reduced. The brochure is then finished on a Ferag Stitcher (32,000 stitched copies per hour) and delivered to the distribution warehouse. Tight and exacting deadlines are met and production costs contained.

Results

  • An enhanced look and feel to the pack supports the Go Outdoors market position as an aspirational brand
  • A sustainable product appeals to the active outdoor customers
  • Increased promotional area on the outer paper wrap
  • Sustainable pack attracts mailing discount from Royal Mail
  • Increase speed to market – from 3 weeks to 10 day lead time
  • Reduced waste

We have around 2 to 3 seconds to make an impression once our mailer drops through the customers’ letterbox so it is vitally important that we get it right. Through sheer hard work, creativity and having a willingness to break from the norm and try something different, we have achieved all our aims and more. It’s a winner for everyone at the end of the day

Mark Judge, Print & Production Manager, Go Outdoors