The last year is one we will all remember for several reasons. It is safe to say it is the type of event that will live in the minds of people for decades to come.
For KDM, it has been a year of carefully learning and fully acknowledging the emerging market trends that now dominate how we do business. We were closely monitoring these trends within our industry long before the Covid-19 took shape and it seems highly likely that the pandemic only accelerated the inevitable growth in some areas of our industry and businesses we work with directly, with a reverse impact on others.
For example, the ongoing decline of the high street business model has undoubtedly harmed many retailers. Although we continue to lead many projects by delivering full fit-
out solutions to our retail clients, we are now witnessing rising demand for our services within the international distribution services sector especially. Quite simply, Covid-19 has put e-commerce at the forefront of retail, with almost a 35% growth in online consumer spending from 2019 to 2020.
During the height of the pandemic and particularly with the ‘stay at home’ messages we saw being communicated, consumers became much more demanding than ever before. Their buying behaviours and distribution expectations are now much more sophisticated and they have grown accustomed to a shopping experience built around their individual needs and wants. The surge in online retail throughout 2020 meant that consumer spend achieved almost £100 billion in sales which we can compare to £52 billion spent only 5 years earlier in 2015. With so many online retailers enjoying record-breaking levels of growth in sales, this has certainly set a precedent for what we will all witness in the future.
We understand that in 20 years’ time, it is predicted that the rapid growth of retail will result in 95% of online purchases being entirely e-commerce. It is, therefore, no surprise that 60% of our company turnover can be attributed to the rising growth in e-commerce and international distribution services and it will continue to play a huge part in our future business planning at KDM.
As a result of the escalation of e-commerce business and the distribution channel at the heart of it all, at KDM we have found ourselves in a fortunate position. We can fully support the rising trend of these distribution centres and warehouses as they witness transformational growth themselves. As a Principal Contractor, our role has been to deliver international rollouts for our clients which include KDM design, manufacturing and installation. We have successfully programmed and delivered these schemes not only in the UK but across Europe and our future delivery looks certain to follow this trend.
The success of our work has been demonstrated in our ability to secure further opportunities within our key client base which has positively impacted our business growth. How we have dynamically responded to this rising demand is a testament that hard work breeds success. This is something that is felt throughout our own corporate culture. Our energetic and dedicated workforce continue to produce high-quality results, building confidence and trust with our clients in our overall service delivery, further underpinning our success.
To support the growing demand for our services, we have also expanded as a team and since 2020, our workforce at KDM has increased by 20%. Our offices in Warrington and Leeds support our HQ in Fife and have been instrumental in our continued expansion in the last year.
Our latest office to open can be found in the vibrant and lively city of Leeds. With its popular regional location and fantastic business links, Leeds is perfectly accessible for commuting throughout the entire UK to attend multiple project sites and client meetings.
Our Commercial and Operational teams including our Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers based in Warrington and Leeds are leading some of our larger UK and European projects, ensuring a seamless delivery at all times. Leeds in particular supports some of our key international distribution clients and given the increase in demand for projects within this industry, this has become a bustling hub of productivity.
Additional to our expanding workforce and regional office space, our focus at KDM has also been in investing in our future business strategy so that we can concentrate on developing our brand reputation. From our own office fit-outs, investment in office equipment to unveiling new livery across our fleet vehicles as a few examples, we will continue to work on strengthening our brand identity and positioning across the UK and indeed Europe.
How we do business will never be normal for KDM in a post-Covid-19 era and nor do we believe it should.
In a dynamic world where we are surrounded by technology and innovation, versatility is key. Our efforts to adapt and transform how we deliver Principal Contracting is not only proof that we have the strong infrastructure and a highly skilled team in place to support these rising trends, but we also have the impetus for change.