Case Study

Case Study

Howdens Joinery Co: Seasonal Hampers

A one-stop design, sourcing, storage, fulfilment, and project management solution from PDS

Industry: Building Materials

Number of employees: 12K +

#ChristmasHampers #Gifting #Design #Source #Store #Fulfil #BuildingMaterials

The client

The Howdens story began in 1995 with a commitment to provide trade customers with kitchens, joinery and hardware products, sourced from local stock. Today, Howdens employs over 12,000 people and supplies more than 390,000 small builders with quality products and services. These include around 4.1 million kitchen cabinets, over 410,000 complete kitchens and 2.6 million doors every year. Despite the organisation’s size, Howdens operates as a locally focused business, providing personalised service at over 760 depots.

The challenge

The gifting of unique and memorable Christmas Hampers to employees, partners and charities is an annual tradition and highly popular event on the Howdens calendar.

Based on our existing good relationship with the organisation and our history of reliable, quality service, Howdens entrusted this important 11-month project to PDS. We provided an end-to-end service including conception, design, sourcing, storage, fulfilment and project management.

With more than 11,000 hamper recipients, however, this was a complex project to fulfil on time and within budget. This became an even greater challenge when the number of recipients increased from 11,500 to 11,800 a couple of months before the hampers were due for delivery.

While there were many intricacies we had to solve along the way, some key challenges involved ensuring all the products that went into each hamper were consistent in size, universal in appeal, Christmas themed where possible, and ideal for sharing rather than individual consumption (as these hampers are designed to be shared amongst colleagues, friends and family). Additionally, all products had to be produced in the UK by trusted suppliers and have a best-before date falling at least three months after Christmas.

Key challenges

  • With 11,800 recipients, this was a complex brief to achieve on time and budget.

  • The scope increased by 300 units in the final 2 months of an 11-month project.

  • Products had to be consistent in size, universal in appeal, ideal for sharing and sourced in the UK.

  • Hamper items had to be stored and handled carefully to ensure longevity.

The solution

PDS provided a single-source service encompassing design, procurement, fulfilment and project management. Our multi-disciplinary project management team included experts from each service area, to ensure all work was aligned and appropriately resourced.


Creative direction was provided by agencypds, which presented three potential concepts for the hamper. When the “Twelve Days of Christmas” theme was selected, our design team set about bringing this to life across all products and packaging elements to create a consistent look and feel. We also ensured all packaging material was as eco-friendly as possible; and prepared all final artwork including the technical information for each product.


PDS procured all the products and packaging elements for the hampers, ensuring they met all the requirements of the creative brief, were of high quality and were budget appropriate. Managing this part of the supply chain also allowed us to ensure that all the necessary products were approved and delivered in time, and in excellent condition.

The project team

Jonathan Shelton (Senior Account Executive), David Nelson (Lead Creative), Rob Digby (Senior Artworker), Monika Zukowska (Mailing & Fulfilment Manager), Lee Anderson (Stock Manager)

Jonathan Shelton

Jonathan Shelton

Senior Account Executive

David Nelson

David Nelson

Lead Creative

Rob Digby

Rob Digby

Senior Artworker


Monika Zukowska

Mailing & Fulfilment Manager

Lee Anderson

Lee Anderson

Stock Manager

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Key outcomes

  • All design, sourcing, storage, fulfilment and management was handled by PDS.

  • We were able to control quality, budget and timelines for maximum ROI.

  • Every hamper was delivered accurately and efficiently.

  • The feedback from employees was, in our client’s words, “super positive”.

The results

We helped Howdens to continue its annual Christmas Hamper tradition in style with maximum efficiency and accuracy.

By handling all the design, logistics, fulfilment and account management, PDS allowed Howdens to hand the entire project over to one supply partner, with just one point of liaison for the full 11 months. This saved our client the time, expense and effort of sourcing various products and services from multiple suppliers and managing many moving parts.

We also made sure that we provided high-quality service throughout the lifecycle of the project, so our client got maximum value for their investment in our expertise.

This included, for example, providing Howdens with:

  • Compelling creative solutions that were on-brief and on-brand
  • Consolidated and on-time sourcing
  • High-quality and budget-appropriate products and packaging elements
  • Secure and safe storage
  • Precise and careful handling of goods through the fulfilment process
  • Respectful delivery to their destination through inhouse and trusted delivery networks.

All in all, with our single-source approach, PDS was able to deliver this project seamlessly, efficiently, transparently, cost-effectively and timeously.

“We have worked with PDS for many years on our Christmas Hampers to our staff. They always come up with amazing creative designs and innovative ideas to ensure our product selection is different each year. Our Christmas Hampers have become a staple to the business and are loved by everyone each year!”

Events Manager

Talk to us about seasonal hampers and gifting…

Don’t waste your time and resources sourcing products and services from multiple suppliers and managing many moving parts. Let PDS take care of your project from start to finish. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you achieve your goals with maximum efficiency and accuracy.