We have been through one of the strangest years of my career, however it finally looks like some signs of normality are beginning to return. We've worked very hard over the last few months to understand from our customers what they need from us to thrive as non-essential retail begins next week.
Aston Barclay prides itself on putting the customer first with every decision it makes, which is why you may have been asked to complete surveys over the past year. We wanted to make sure that our customers were at the heart of every decision we made, which includes our recent announcement on returning some of our sales back to the auction halls. 84% of our buyers told us they wanted to get back to the halls, so we've worked hard to get the teams ready to welcome you back.
I wanted to detail what our return to physical looks like, in something we refer to internally as omnichannel. That means we're offering physical driven sales where there is a clear demand for it, while continuing to offer every single sale on our online platform. We've also made the decision to continue not to charge for attending our sales online.
Buyers from our Dealer, Part Exchange, LCV and Motability sales have been clear that they want to see, hear and smell the vehicles they want to buy before committing to the sale, so these vehicles will be run through the lanes as they were prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Buyers from our other sales have told us that's not something they need, especially in light of our new partnership with The AA, so our Fleet and Lease sales will continue to be held primarily online. However, we will line up these cars ahead of the sales so if you would like to come and see the stock, you're more than welcome. Our auctioneers will still be at the Rostrum too, so if you want to attend the sale, you're welcome to stand in the hall in a socially distanced way.
The only exception from this is our manufacturer sale which will continue to be online-only, with vehicles inspected and imaged remotely, and held offsite.
We do ask that you continue to follow a simple set of rules to help keep both our customers and staff safe:
As every company figures out what their own new normal looks like, Aston Barclay continues to adapt to what customers tell us they want. This new way of offering our vendor's vehicles is in direct response to what the data shows us our customers need. We will of course continue to keep assessing how things progress, but I for one am incredibly excited to welcome our loyal customers back to our centres.
I look forward to seeing you very soon.
Martin Potter, Managing Director - Customer
In keeping with guidance issued by the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA), we have prepared a COVID-19 risk assessment that addresses the additional risks posed by COVID-19. You can see the risk assessment here.
As we enter the third national lockdown, I wanted to share our tried and tested approach with you to help keep your business running.
Making sure we keep our customers and staff safe is our number one priority, therefore effective immediately, our centres will not be open to customers. However, we are still offering a full sales programme with a massive range of vehicles from all our vendors. Additionally, you are still able to arrange vehicle collections, drop-offs and deliveries.
Aston Barclay has been on the leading edge of pioneering virtual car auctions, with leading images and inspections to help you make informed decisions about buying used vehicles with us. Our full team is online, and at the end of the phone to help you too.
During 2020, we have honed our approach with collection and delivery capabilities, which means we continue to deliver remarketing services to all our customers to ensure the continued safe movement of vehicles. Despite the challenges lockdown brings, we will continue to deliver an efficient service when processing vehicles, with key staff on site experienced in working within these restrictions.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team if you need any help with buying or selling cars remotely. Remember to book an appointment before coming to one of our centres, as we won’t be able to help you without one.
Aston Barclay stands for customer excellence, and we will continue to assist our customers throughout the latest COVID measures.
Thank you for your continued support.
Martin Potter, Managing Director - Customer
To protect our staff and customers, Aston Barclay continues to implement procedures to enact guidelines given by the Government and conduct business in a Covid-secure way.
We have already implemented a one-way system in our auction halls, installed protective screens and sanitising stations across each of our centres, and regulated the number of buyers on site at any time to maintain social distancing guidelines.
The safety of our staff and customers continues to be our main priority. In line with new Government guidance, from 24 July 2020, all customers, vendors, and other visitors coming on to site to view cars are required to wear face coverings.
If you would like more guidance on face coverings, please visit the Gov.uk website.
The rapid global spread of the COVID-19 virus is presenting unprecedented challenges to businesses, governments and communities worldwide. We would like to assure you that we, at Aston Barclay, have taken all the necessary steps to protect and safeguard the health and welfare of our people and our customers. We have now implemented comprehensive business continuity procedures, which include remote working wherever possible and very limited staff travel. Click here to view our customer advisor notice.