I caught up with Trolley Bags to discuss the growth of its reusables business ten months after the introduction of the plastic bag charge.
Last October, England became the last country within the UK to introduce the mandatory 5p charge for plastic bags.
Instead of reusing old plastic bags or forking out for new ones each time, we are now seeing more consumers investing in new innovative products from companies such as Trolley Bags. Since the company’s inception in 2014, Trolley Bags has gone from strength to strength, even witnessing year-on-year growth of almost 1000% per cent last year.
Here, Beccy Daykin, customer service manager at Trolley Bags, talks about the company’s operation.
Can you provide an overview of your product?
“Trolley Bags is a system of four high-quality and reusable shopping bags that spread out and sit comfortably inside supermarket trollies of all sizes. They are highly convenient for when you are self-scanning items or packing up your goods at the checkout, helping the shopper to save time.
”The popularity of Trolley Bags has grown significantly since the introduction of the 5p plastic bag charge. Rather than forking out 30p for six bags during each visit, or bringing plastic bags from home that may split after being used a few times, Trolley Bags offers shoppers a more permanent solution.
”They retail at £19.99, you only have four bags to carry from the car to the house, they will last years, and they can be easily folded up and stored inbetween shops.”
How do consumers get their hands on your product?
“We have entered into agreement with many leading high-street stores to stock, including Lakeland, Robert Dyas, The Range and, most recently, Tesco, as well as a number of garden centres and independent retailers too. It has been a fantastic boost to see our products on retailers’ shelves. This is also supplemented by our own online store, where consumers can buy our products on our website – and we ship them directly via Hermes.
“We have worked alongside Hermes for a little over a year now and it has been a very successful partnership so far. We have a Business Account, which gives us a range of benefits including a daily free van collection and its online label printing functionality. Meanwhile, the more items we ship the cheaper it becomes. It is a cost-effective service, which is good for a young business like ours as we are always looking to keep costs to a minimum without comprising on quality.”
Do your customers seem satisfied with the service?
”Yes, absolutely. During the last couple of years we have noticed that consumers are becoming increasingly demanding as online shopping becomes more popular and people become more tech-savvy. People want to know exactly where their parcel is and when it will be delivered.
“The Hermes Business Account allows both our customers and our shipping team to check on the progress of all deliveries. This is incredibly important to our business as we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver exceptional levels of customer service at all times.”
What does the future hold for Trolley Bags?
”Of course we have seen a rise in interest and orders since the 5p charge came in and we look forward to exploring more exciting partnerships with retailers across the UK, not just for the original Trolley Bags, but also for our new range of innovative products that will be launched shortly.
”We will also expand our footprint worldwide. Currently we distribute to the UK and EU from our UK office and we also have distributors in the US, Australia, Ireland, Israel, UAE and GCC, Malta, Cyprus, Canada and New Zealand. We are continually adding to the partnerships while also following up significant interest we are receiving from Latin America and the Far East.”
- Mike Antwoon is sales director at Hermes