Catering Insight caught up with Atosa UK operations and national account director Mark Preston nearly a year after the UK branch of the Chinese manufacturer moved to larger premises in Northampton:
What benefits has the move to new premises brought?
Moving into new premises has been good for both Atosa and our dealer community, firstly by being able to employ additional staff in our new premises, and also by helping out our dealer community more efficiently. The new location has also added a showroom so that our dealer community can come in and view all our equipment range to get a feel of the quality and see the benefits of using our equipment.
How have you developed your dealer network in 2018?
We have developed our dealer community by working very close to our existing distributors and by opening specific new dealers to target growth within certain areas of the marketplace that we feel we need to strengthen.
In which regions are sales highest?
Typically we see that highly populated regions as the London area have a higher level of sales volume, however as we have seen in previous times this is not always the case and can be set by different trends and market conditions.
How have dealers responded to your green refrigeration range?
Since the launch of the green range of refrigeration, it has been very well welcomed into the dealer community as it offers far superior products compared to standard gassed products still available in the current marketplace. This also benefits dealers with the knowledge that products with good energy efficiency are easier to sell than products with lower energy efficiency. Refrigeration equipment in today’s marketplace not only needs to be an environmentally friendly product but a high quality product that is reliable in the harshest conditions, along with a cost effective solution to the end user, hence our tagline of ‘quality refrigeration that doesn’t cost the earth’.
Which product lines are proving most successful?
The green range of refrigeration equipment has ultimately been the most successful product line this year so far. That includes not only single and double door upright refrigeration but two, three and four door counter refrigeration. Our undercounter range of single door products has also seen a vast improvement in sales over the last 3 months, being a product that again has a great energy efficiency.
What recent investments have you made?
Investments we have made this year have been showing our portfolio of products at Hotelympia and The Restaurant Show trade shows along with additional personnel at our new offices. Further investment will be made again in the near future as we intend to look at additional warehousing space to accommodate the level of sales volume we expect over the next 2 years.
How did the recent entry level brand launch go?
Our Ice A Cool medium duty refrigeration equipment was introduced in June 2018. That includes single and double door upright refrigerators, saladette units and small counter refrigerators. These can be viewed from our new dedicated website. We have introduced these products to capture sales of the smaller businesses that only require a medium duty product, compared to our heavy duty or green range of refrigeration equipment currently supplied under the Atosa brand.
How has the business performed in 2018?
We have seen an increase in sales volume compared to sales volume year to date against last year, with an encouraging number of new enquiries coming in on a daily basis. We are pleased with this and look to continue to grow the business, not only on sales volume but product portfolio and service support networks going forward.
What are your targets going forwards?
Atosa’s goals are to significantly grow the business over the next 3 years with a full complimentary product portfolio of more than just refrigerated products.
Are you launching any new products in the near future?
Products we have just launched include our full range of refrigerated deli display cases and refrigerated multidecks that suit a whole range of applications within the marketplace such as coffee shops and consumer focused areas. New introductions for 2019 will be a range of refrigerated chef bases, back bar bottle coolers, along with a complete new range of cooking equipment.
How do you see the business developing over the next couple of years?
With our continued success in the marketplace and investment into getting the marketplace aware of the Atosa brand, I would like to think that the business development of working with current and new partners will be significant.