After his recent purchase of Kitchen HQ, CEO of the Winning Group, John Winning has spoken about a new entrepreneurial pursuit in the works, transforming his installation business Handy Crew into a logistics company to provide delivery services to non-competing businesses.

The Winning Group launched the Handy Crew installation company in June 2012 to offer delivery and professional custom installations.

Winning attributes much of Appliances Online’s competitive advantage to its ability to fulfill about 95 per cent of its deliveries using their own trucks, rather than relying on a third party.

Speaking at the Online Retailer Conference, Winning recounted his instructions to his chief logistics officer, “We do really well for our own customers, I want you to take what we’re doing and I want you to scale it so that we can now do this for non-competing businesses”.

He said that the service might be of interest to furniture or mattress retailers and that in the next year the Winning Group will have its own logistics business.

Winning also said that the Appliances Online mentality is that it is “a logistics company that happens to sell appliances.

“Other retailers are more sales engines. They like selling and then it’s a bit of a headache to get it to the customer. What we do is we say that our job starts once we’ve got the order.”

Winning said their mission is “to provide the best shopping experience in the world”, which is set apart by personal touches. For example, Winning said Appliances Online staff send out between 70 to 100 handwritten letters to customers each week and he also told a story about a driver who delivered a replacement fridge along with a bottle of milk to a customer on a Friday evening.

“We want to impress our customers to a point where they want to refer us to family and friends and come back and buy from us time and time again,” he said.

About his suppliers, Winning said, “Our vision is to be the preferred partner of our suppliers, so we are not there to tick our suppliers off, to constantly bring them into meetings and grind them down on price because we are getting scale. We want to work alongside them, we want them to understand the benefits of our business.”

Last night, Appliances Online was awarded joint winner of Best Pureplay Online Retailer at the 2014 StarTrack Online Retailer Industry Awards. The judges couldn’t pick an outright winner, and the Appliances Online will share the title with surf and fashion retailer SurfStitch.

SaaS provider SLI Systems congratulates Appliances Online and SurfStitch for their joint victory.