What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been for all of us I'm sure. We find ourselves in the fortunate position whereby we're able to still operate as an online store and a click and collect facility to get essential goods to our customers but it's become a real struggle keeping up in our current premises due to space and storage limitations.
We're pleased to announce we have found the perfect new home for Alternative Stores in Heather Mills' Plant Based Valley in Seaton Delaval, only 5 miles from our current store. Plant Based Valley is a business and manufacturing space exclusively for plant-based businesses. We attended the launch party last year and were blown away by the possibilities and plans for this plant-based facility and have been in talks ever since.
We've chosen to move within the next week as we've got two bank holidays approaching on which we are unable to ship any parcels out - Good Friday and Easter Monday. We'll be packing and moving this weekend and aim to have completed the entire move by Wednesday 15th of April.
What this means for our local customers
As our retail store has been closed since the Covid-19 crisis hit, we're still going to remain closed as a retail store for the time being. The space we are moving into is a perfect home for our retail store should we re-open the shop down the line. For now, we'll continue to operate as an online retailer and click & collect point from our new premises and there is an abundance of customer parking (with no pothole issues!). We'll send more information on how our click & collect will work in the coming days.
What this means for our online customers
We'll still be operating as usual and dispatching orders as quickly as possible. There will be no changes to your current ordering process.
What this means if you have an outstanding delivery order
If your order is ambient (not chilled/frozen) we'll be dispatching all that we can tomorrow. If you order contains chilled or frozen goods and has not yet been shipped then this will be shipped from Tuesday 14th onwards (we cannot send any more chilled/frozen orders this week due to the bank holiday weekend). Tracking information will always follow once your order has been shipped and if DPD cover your area then you will also receive a 1-hour delivery window on the morning of your delivery. We're sorry for the delays in dispatch - we're currently running at 2 days behind on ambient orders, 3 days behind on chilled orders and 5 days behind on frozen orders. We are doing all that we can currently to ship orders within the hours we have available and we thank you for your patience and understanding.
What this means if you have an outstanding click & collect order
We'll be on-site at our current premises until Tuesday the 14th of April so if you have an outstanding click & collect order we will email you once this is ready to collect and please come to our door as usual. From Tuesday onwards of next week we will be at our new premises.
We've temporarily disabled any new click & collect orders from being placed on our website until we have completed the move. We'll update you once this facility is back up and running.
Why we are moving
We're extremely grateful for the fact that lots of people are choosing to shop with us during this crisis. As some of you may already know, this small team of ours is made up of just three heads and we've struggled to keep up with the demand, volume of orders and stock required during this pandemic. Moving to our new premises will enable us to bring in more help and to hugely increase our stock levels meaning we can satisfy more orders. We're also moving to a great, new facility and our local customers will be all too aware of the fact that our current premises have some issues, namely the car parking facilities. We can't wait for you to see our new premises and we'll share some photos once we are up and running.
To minimise impact for order delays and to make this move as seamless as possible, we've run down our stocks this week and will not be receiving our usual deliveries this week. Our normal deliveries will resume next week and we hope to be fully stocked again by the end of the week. This move will enable us to hugely increase the levels of stock to cope with the current demand and in turn, process more orders more efficiently. As always, you can sign up for an email reminder on any out of stock items on the product page and you'll be emailed when this item is back in stock.
Our new address is:
Plant Based Valley,
We'll remain on the same telephone number (0191 603 0577).