Posted: 31/08/2018

The Cress Co considers setting up courier-style delivery service

Cress Co
MD Joe Wall and buyer Nikki Castley have been looking for a new way to service small producers

The Cress Co is weighing up the potential of establishing a new company to provide a stripped-down delivery service to help start-ups and other small producers reach a wider market more cheaply.

Priced somewhere between full-service wholesaling and a courier such as FedEx or Parcelforce, it would enable small firms to piggyback on Cress’s regular deliveries while taking responsibility for their own sales and marketing.

“Warehousing, distribution, order processing and invoicing is our business, but it’s non-core for producers,” said MD Joe Wall. “The biggest challenge for these small firms is the physical access to the customer and we want the new service to help them overcome that.”

The new company would offer storage and distribution for small producers who are starting to attract sales outside their immediate area but do not have the sales volumes or perhaps the margins to justify listing with a wholesaler.

Retailers will be able to consolidate orders from these producers giving them access to a much wider product portfolio but with a single drop and single invoice.

Orders will be placed online through a new, dedicated website, the main promotional tool, which will cut out the additional costs associated with conventional wholesaling like dedicated print catalogues, advertising costs, direct sales and funded promotion.

The scheme would allow up-and-coming producers to maintain close relationships with retailers at a crucial stage of their brand’s development as the sales, product range and pricing would remain completely under their control.

“I’m a great believer that the best person to sell a product is the person who made it and this new scheme will enable small brands to continue to do this,” said Wall. “We simply take away any supply chain issues.”

With planning still in the early stages, as yet, there are “no set numbers”, but it is estimated costs will be much less than typical wholesaler charges.

“A £12 courier charge might seem cheap but on a £100 order it represents a 12% cost,” said Wall. “Our new service will offer a springboard from direct sales to wider distribution and will enable brands to sell to a much wider market with less risk as we will provide complete transparency in terms of costs and distribution.”

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