A North West firm says it has seen customer numbers soar during the Covid lockdowns – as more and more people return to what it described as the “original subscription service”.
Mortons Dairies is a family-owned business based on Merseyside, and said it has created new jobs and expanded its network of routes across the region to support the rising demand for home deliveries of food essentials.
The business now delivers to more than 55,000 customers from seven depots across the Merseyside region – two in Liverpool with further hubs in Maghull, Chester, Wigan and on the Wirral.
During the past 12 months, the Maghull-based business has seen a 30% increase in the number of customers getting pints of milk in glass bottles delivered to their doorstep with an average of 35,000 pints a day being delivered on its own fleet of over 100 electric vehicles.
As well as residential customers Mortons Dairies also supplies milk to public and private sector organisations including Liverpool Football Club and the NHS.
Julian Harrison joint managing director , said: “Our business has grown but we’ve been careful to do this in a sustainable and sensible way.
“During the first lockdown, we received a massive uptake in new customers and we’ve seen a 90% retention rate of these customers including during the periods where lockdown restrictions were eased.
“This has given us the confidence that there is a long-term demand for fresh food essentials being delivered directly to people’s doors. We are adding new postcodes to our delivery network every single day and will add them where customers demand.
“During 2021 we will continue to invest in people, equipment and new products – such as glass-bottled Oat Milk which has been a big seller as people try out dairy alternatives.
The company now employs more than 200 people and recently won ‘Green Business of the Year’ in the Echo Environment Awards 2020 for its environmentally-friendly approach.
As well as milk, the company delivers other food essentials including bread, cheese, eggs and breakfast goods to its customers who sign up online and get free delivery to their doorstep.
Julian added: “The pandemic has forced people to look more closely at not just how they buy their groceries but also where they buy them from.
“We work with a variety of other trusted local independent producers of fresh food such as Robert Bakery and Langs Eggs and we have supported all our suppliers to market their goods to our customers.”
Norman Harrison, joint managing director, said: “People have recognised that the milkman plays an essential role in the community and that we’re the ‘original’ food subscription service.
“We’ve never gone away and we’ve delivered milk for nearly 100 years in the local community that we serve. We are fortunate to have incredibly loyal customers and a dedicated workforce who have pulled together during this time.
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“Our staff in particular, as key workers, are going above and beyond the call of duty and the appreciation that we’ve had in our local communities has helped massively.
“We’ve been spurred on by the number of people who have sent us kind messages or left us encouraging notes on their doorsteps.”
Mortons Dairies has also played its part in supporting vulnerable members of the community including making food donations to local charities across Merseyside during lockdown.
Norman added: “We are proud to play our part in the local community and we support many initiatives ranging from disability groups to sports teams and local community hubs who all deliver vital services to local people.
“We will continue to do this during 2021 and beyond.”