Swanwick auctions off unwanted showroom stock

More than 3,000 pieces of brand new commercial kitchen equipment owned by Swanwick Catering Equipment in Cheltenham will go under the hammer over the next fortnight.

The kitchen house, which has been around since 1958, has called on auction house Pro Auction to help it offload stock that it no longer needs due to a change in strategy.

Interested parties began viewing the lots from this morning and will be able to place their bids when the main sale days get underway on March 6th and 7th. A third sale day is planned for the 21st March due to the volume of items involved.

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Tomorrow’s auction will feature mid to heavy range equipment, such as commercial fryers, broilers and chargrills, while the remaining two sale days will involve food processing equipment and kitchen utensils.

Mark Flynn, chief auctioneer and director of Pro Auction, told Catering Insight that increased competition from cheap imported products had led Swanwick to move away from the showroom side of its business and instead focus on other parts of its business.

“Swanwick has taken a strategic change in their business. They are going now for the overseas market on the large industrial stuff — big commercial products as opposed to the small bits and bobs,” he said.

Swanwick has a long history of working with key brands in the catering equipment market and was one of the first distributors to implement AutoCAD to plan and design kitchens. On its website, it claims to operate a “successful import and export service” for key manufacturers such as Electrolux, Garland and Hobart.

Flynn says the Swanwick auction is particularly notable for the fact that the majority of kit is unused and still in its original packaging. “Normally we are brought in when either a place has gone bust or the landlord’s foreclosed on them or something similar, but the unique thing about this particular sale is it is all brand new,” he said.

The auction comprises 3,222 lots in total and Flynn says there are plenty of bargains to be had given Swanwick needs to shift as much kit as possible.

“One good example of that is a Falcon fryer — a current model — and the starting price is £900. The list price on most of the catering sites is £4,200. There are significant savings to be had by auction,” he said.

Pro Auction holds catering equipment auctions every six weeks. Typically, around 60% of the kit it sells is bought by operators while the rest is purchased by dealers and resellers.

Buyers that want to register for the auction or get more details can access the bidding platform here.

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