Carluccio’s puts CVA misery behind it with ‘substantial’ online overhaul

Carluccio’s Spitalfields

Carluccio’s this morning announced a substantial digital overhaul designed to extend its food brand online – just months after it was forced to close dozens of stores.

The Italian casual dining chain shut a third of its UK store estate following a CVA earlier this year, blaming labour costs, business rates and food inflation for impacting profit margins.

But the company is fighting back with a new sales strategy and brand restructuring programme financed by £10m investment from its owners.

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Bosses at the firm want to reinvigorate the restaurant’s online and offline presence and elevate the guest experience, and have partnered with ecommerce platform BigCommerce to revamp its online offering.

The pair have spent three months overhauling its existing website to create a resource that brings together rich content and online shopping in a single web experience.

The website, hosted on WordPress with commerce powered by BigCommerce, allows Carluccio’s to serve both in-restaurant clientele as well as its growing audience of digital consumers.

Marketing director, James Backhouse, who is leading the brand reinvigoration and digital-focused strategy, said: “We are unusual in having both restaurants and delis retailing our products, and we wanted to bring this all to life in our online presence.”

“Our aim was to develop a website that did the fundamentals really well – whilst also demonstrating the stories behind the brand and products, and linking seamlessly into ecommerce. To do this, we needed a platform that could strike the balance between traditional ecommerce and a content-rich website. This newly launched site has definitely accomplished that.”

With 80% of the business’ ecommerce volume comes from the two months leading up to Christmas, the new site is ready to process the spike in growth it is expecting.

Carluccio’s now trades from 85 stores in the UK. All of its high-performing restaurants are being fully upgraded with a new look and feel.

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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