Well as expected things are now starting to ramp up for Christmas time, our favourite time of year! There are only 91 days to go do you realise?
It's difficult to explain to people just how much space is required between October and December to enable us to assemble Christmas hampers, so we've taken some photographs to show you.
There are MANY component parts to a gift basket and hamper, and it is a very labour intensive process. As we have grown we have been able to bring in some methods and machinery to help us work even more quickly, but as far as automation is concerned unfortunately it is just not possible. If it was we wouldn't be here until the 'wee' hours of the morning throughout December, instead we'd be at home with our feet up in front of the fire sipping on some mulled wine while the robots did all the work. Ah, maybe one day.....
We've broken the process involved in gift basket assembly down into the 10 vital component parts:
1) The container itself - the gift basket or hamper. We have trays, bamboo hampers, wicker hampers, open baskets, linen lined baskets in various colours. All of these varieties also come in small, medium, large and extra large sizes and so take up a considerable amount of room.
2) The shred to line the container, which acts as padding as well as decoration.
3) The products to go into the hamper or basket and the storage to house them all. The products range from fruit, food & drink to baby clothes, toys, pamper products and flowering plants. The storage ranges from high shelves, low shelves & cupboards for ambient goods to trays, fridges and freezers for perishables items.
4) Bubble wrap to wrap any jars or breakables. And not just a few sheets of the stuff, but metres of it on rolls and in 2 different sizes.
5) Other packaging apart from the hampers/baskets if the contents include wine or chilled goods such as cheese, salmon and ham.
6) The shrink wrap/cellophane & heat guns to gift wrap the baskets, both to keep the items within secure and for presentation purposes
7) The ribbon or bows to decorate your hamper. Again not just a few rolls, but over 200 miles worth of ribbon!
8) The boxes & lids to ship the hampers. Boxes come in various shapes and sizes depending on the hamper contents.
9) The air cushions that protect the hamper while in transit & the tape/strapping material to seal the delivery box.
10) SPACE! This is one you might not think of straight away as a component, but you need LOTS of space to assemble and then store the hampers and gift baskets as well as space for all the components previously mentioned! As we've grown we've moved into bigger warehouses and thought our latest warehouse would have plenty of space for us. Last year we added one level of mezzanine flooring on and this year we have added another.
During the year we don't stock huge numbers of each hamper, but for Christmas we need hundreds of each type of hamper pre-assembled and ready to go. We usually also have to nab a bit of extra space in the units next door to us during November and December to house all our Christmas Hampers. You can see from the pictures below just how full the warehouse becomes!