We were excited and honoured to have been nominated once again in the TGO reader awards. Uponhearing that we had won the Online Retailer of the Year award for a 5th time, plus a highly commended for Brand of the Year then we were, well, even more excited and honoured. Does it change what we are doing? Not really, but when our customers are standing in front of us saying 'Hey Alpkit you know what, you're doing alright', it means the world to us and gives us the confidence to try even harder.
So we'll keep passing those orders through on to the warehouse team who will work tirelessly to make sure they are loaded on that post wagon each day. The customer service team will continue to diligently answer emails and phone calls on order queries, product advice and returns; all that on top of pushing their limits in the Alpkit bake-offs and (of course) Christmas jumper day. The product team will continue to listen to what you're up to and carry on pushing the standards of clothing and equipment we have to offer. We'll also keep trying to give a little back, with the Alpkit Foundation we're finding that many little steps can certainly make a big difference, whilst our Big Shakeout Festival gives us a chance to meet some of our customers and have a bit of a knees up.
Thank you to all those that voted for us.
Why are we so chuffed?
Of course being recognised by our own customers is just amazing. It's our customers who trust in our product and support, who get out there day-in day-out, and who can truly judge if we're doing a good job. But it's also a reflection on the whole Alpkit crew. Whilst it's an easy job to sit here and fire off all the 'woo hoo, we've won' announcements, it's impossible not to thank all of the team.
UK Made develops in our factory
We've had such a fantastic year: as we grow we have the pleasure of creating more jobs and inviting more people into the Alpkit family, but we know the importance of not letting our standards drop. Our previous response to winning this award still stands true: "The realities of customer service are harsh; just when you are ready to stand up and (hopefully) bask in a few seconds of glory you get served a spoonful of reality... and that's how it is at Alpkit. We know we don't get everything right, but we do try to get more things right than we get wrong, and when we do get it wrong we own up and try to do it better next time." It's a continual challenge that we're pleased to be faced with, what could be better than helping people to get out and enjoy their own adventures?
But there's more...
Online has been our bread and butter for over 13 years, and our two new stores have become our sugary sweet jam on top. It was a big move for us, but we are now taking all we've learnt and been recognised for online, and making sure to take this into a physical representation of what Alpkit is about. There's been an awful lot of hard work into opening and creating an awesome team that are there meeting our customers face-to-face. We hope you like our flavour of jam.
Our two new 'offline' stores
Highly Commended: Brand of the Year. This is a great recognition of the hard work our design team have been putting in over the last year and it's wonderful to know that people really enjoy using our kit.Brand/Online retailer, it's always been a blurred line for us. The online retail side has always been an integral part of the brand, our priority has always been maintaining direct interaction with our cutomers, helping them rather than hiding away. The product design team have always played a role in our customer support - listening to feedback and requirements of the customer - and after a very busy year we are really pleased with the developments. We never limit ourselves to one thing, we know a lot of you love getting stuck into a multitude of activities, which is why we've enjoyed working on everything from titanium pots and tents to wetsuits and waterproofs, as well as developing our new brand, Sonder Bikes. Of course there's so much involved in the 'brand' behind the scenes, and it's all that behind the scenes stuff that help elevate it to another level.
The Support Heroes team out for a training day
From the dedication to retail and customer support, to the exciting developments of our UK Factory. It's kind of easy when you see everyone coming to work with a constant love for what we do. Over the years some things haven't changed. "Sure, there are hard days or tired days but there is always the sense of being in it together for a common aim and you can feel that everybody has the same passion and deep rooted belief in what we are trying to do"
So to wrap up. What a superb bunch of daringly adventurous customers we have. Thank you. We hope we can continue to help you Go Nice Places, Do Good Things in the year ahead and perhaps we may just see you out on the hill.