Guernsey Wool Case Study

Spinning such a good yarn!

A specialist wool business in Penzance (in the far west of Cornwall not far from Lands End) finds 40% of its custom via a global Internet platform devoted to the needs of over four million knitting and crochet enthusiasts.

Guernsey Wool's market niche is focused on devotees of hand-knitted Guernseys and Fishermen’s Jerseys.  The business has a complex supply chain of wool buyers and specialist dyers - and an equally diverse range of channels to market.

The business sees its growth as stemming from a resurgence of craft skills – particularly in North America – and is not tempted to stray outside of this market niche.  Unlike competitors in more generalised knitting wool markets the business supplies only large cones of wool – thus avoiding the costs of producing and packaging small balls but also appealing to specialist knitters who create garments ‘in the round’ and wish to eliminate knots wherever possible.

Whilst the Internet is invaluable for both supply chain management and for global market awareness, the owners steadfastly refuse to automate interactions with customers – realising that the strength of viral marketing is far more important than the efficiency of an impersonalised transaction process – contrary to the graphic, there is no basket for your order. This approach is viable because they have developed a semi-wholesale position with a range of intermediaries who care far more for customer service than volume sales.

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