Distributors look for growth in light equipment

Equipment distributors yesterday seized the chance to get up close and personal with everything from wooden peppermills to the latest contact grills at the CESA Light Equipment & Tableware forum.

14 suppliers, including Elior, Gilberts, Induced Energy, SJH Row & Sons and The Contact Grill, were given 20-minute slots to brief distributors on their products in a ‘speed dating-style’ format.

Sales staff from distributors such as Nisbets, 3663, Whitco and Gratte Brothers attended the Daventry-based event, which continues today with a special sales training session hosted by foodservice expert Doug Fryatt.

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This year’s Light Equipment & Tableware Forum is the ninth that CESA has run and director Keith Warren said he was encouraged by the amount of interaction between suppliers and distributors.

“You can see that those attending have picked up a lot of product information and training on new and innovative products as well as some of the old favourites that they may not get to see, so it has worked very well for the distributors and also for the suppliers,” he said.

Warren said that bringing the supply chain together was particularly important in the light equipment and tableware market due to its rapidly evolving nature.

He said: “There are continually new products coming in and that is the value of this sort of forum: it brings them all together in one event for the distributors to see in a different environment than they may pick up through an exhibition or another forum. It is direct sales training for the distributor, which they can then use in action with their customers to be more effective and provide more of a consultancy role.”

Yesterday’s event culminated in CESA revealing the winners of the Sales Professional of the Year award and the Distributors Cup.

Teresa Reynolds, director of business development at Cirencester-based light equipment dealer Especial, landed the salesperson accolade, while Bunzl Lockart took home the distributor cup.

See pictures of the event in our exclusive picture gallery here.

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