Catering equipment manufacturer Blanco Professional announced a raft of changes to its UK strategy at a special event held last night at London’s ‘Gherkin’ building.
Chief among these was its new agreement with Amazon Business, which will initially see Blanco Professional’s lighter equipment sold through Amazon’s professional division, with delivery available from November. This includes items such as trolleys and Blancotherm food transport containers.
Stefan Deeken, global key account manager of catering said: “We want to expand our business in the UK and we have found a partner in Amazon Business which will help us to do this.”
The UK is the first country where Blanco Professional has signed this kind of agreement. “The UK is a starting point, and we will then look to roll out elsewhere,” added Deeken.
The next phase of the distribution agreement will be rolled out in March, when a selection of heavier equipment will be added to the German-headquartered manufacturer’s portfolio on Amazon. However, Deeken underlined that the largest equipment won’t be sold through the portal as of yet.
He was keen to reassure the rest of Blanco Professional’s UK dealers that the move will not affect them, detailing that Amazon Business will receive no preferential pricing.
Amazon Business UK’s strategic account manager, Thomas Hamper, attended last night’s event and commented: “We are thrilled to be working with Blanco Professional. This is a new journey for us after the foodservice sector has done so well for Amazon Business in the USA.”
This is borne out in the statistics, which show that since Amazon Business launched in the US in April 2015, it has served more than 400,000 businesses and generating more than $1bn in sales in its first year, with sellers accounting for over half of the orders.
Also on the new strategy agenda for Blanco Professional was partnering with Keith Elkington Transport for its UK logistics. “They can deliver our products in a quick and easy way,” commented Deeken. “They will take our goods from Germany to our other clients and be our warehouse in the UK.”
Plus spares will now be supplied through the First Choice Group. According to Deeken: “First Choice will help us offer a fast, efficient spare parts service.
“Until now we didn’t really have a service department in the UK, so this is the first time that we have a professional service partner and a service department to help our clients in a fast and easy way.”
These moves mean that Blanco Professional has upped its UK stock provision and increased its back office team at its UK base in St Albans.
Furthermore, it has relaunched its mobile front cooking station offerings with turnkey solutions now available. The units can be customised to match many types of cuisine requirements, including Italian, Asian and burgers.
Alongside this, a new Blanco Professional augmented reality (AR) app comprises AR-triggered information and videos, which will pop-up when aimed at specific image markers.