BREAKING NEWS: Sous Vide Tools owner exits Shop-Equip venture

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Sous Vide Tools MD Alex Shannon had intended Shop-Equip to be a shop window for high end brands.

Just 3 months after it was announced that Gastronomy Plus, which trades as Sous Vide Tools, had bought the assets of defunct dealer Shop-Equip, the supplier has abruptly exited the venture.

Online dealer Shop-Equip had collapsed into administration at the end of last year, citing the cause as the current economic climate.

Sous Vide Tools subsequently purchased the Shop-Equip brand name and website domain in December with the intent to transform it into a supplier. Just last month, MD Alex Shannon told Catering Insight that Shop-Equip would become “a shop window for exclusive brands”.

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The plan was to supply high end brands to both dealers and end users, with Shannon emphasising at the time: “The structure will be such that it ensures there is a space for the dealers to work in.”

However, following the latest developments, he commented: “When we bought the brand we tried to make it as clear as possible to the industry that although end users would be able to purchase from Shop-Equip there was also an excellent opportunity for dealers to make a healthy margin selling some exclusive brands not available elsewhere in the market.

“Regrettably, it has become apparent that our vision for Shop-Equip did not sit well with some of our dealers and so we have decided to sell the assets on.

“We have always maintained that the dealer network is essential to all businesses within the group – including SousVideTools and Hendi UK – and it would go against those principles not to listen to the feedback we have had from dealers and act accordingly.”

The Shop-Equip website address now points users towards Kendal-based online dealer, Catering Appliance Superstore.

Catering Insight contacted CAS marketing director, Graham Sowerby, who confirmed that the company had solely bought the domain name, and not the website itself or any other former Shop-Equip assets.

Tags : catering appliance superstoredealeronline dealershop-equipsous vide toolssupplier
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls


  1. A wise move. Your classic case of wanting your cake and eating it scenario. A business is either dealer focused or end user focused and you cannot have both as dealers wants to see loyalty, the loyalty they expect from a manufacture / supplier. Likewise, the manufacture / supplier expects loyalty from its dealer base.

    1. So Malcolm, why does Nisbets have an £80m trade division? Why have Lockhart just reformed Factory 1st and have joined Cedabond as a supplier? Why do Pentland have ACME, Prodis have Classic Retail Systems, Blue Badgers have Alexanders Direct. Oh and don’t forget Pantheon and Monarch……So most distributors have their cake & eat it? At least Alex was honest about it, listened to his customer base and made a hard decision that was probably financially costly.

    2. Hi Malcolm, We listened to our customers and have hopefully acted in a manner that emphasises our commitment to the dealer network. Thanks, Alex

      1. Well done Alex, at least you listened to your dealer base and have made the decision to stick to your current business model, which we all agree is working very well.

      2. Hi Alex. this was not having a pop at you but just pointing out to others in general that there needs to be a definitive line about taking goods to market, a business choosing to sell direct to the end user or via the dealer channel. Their are other business models out there like Nisbets that can operate that way, that’s the luxury of having the turnover and business model they have, as Bunzl and other such businesses that import and source ranges of products to wholesale to dealers.
        Stick to what you know best Alex.

    1. Not to sure how this is dirty Dougie! Purely a commercial decision to move on a domain name and refocus our core business at the CESA and ENSE’s conference’s this month, working hand in hand with our loyal distributor base.

  2. Yes, Discriminating dealers are not easy to bring on and easy to lose. Cinders Barbecues Ltd is celebrating 35 years successful business with that ethic in mind.. Well played, Alex!

  3. Malcolm, With over 40 years in the business, what has become apparent to me is that the dealers want their cake as well as having it on a silver platter They want the suppliers to do all the work, supplying leads, converting sales, delivering goods, covering warranty, doing site visits and demos whilst the dealers continually drive pricing down, and at the same time expect the suppliers to take the hit on margin.

    I honestly don’t understand how the dealers stay in business and expect the suppliers to subsidise their grandiose plans to be the cheapest. No one wins, not even the end user.

    Alex is one of the few innovators in the industry and Sous Vide Tools have taken a brave decision and are to be commended.

  4. Grass is Greener, not all Dealers are like that. I don’t know if you are a dealer or supplier but loyalty and support is two way traffic.

  5. No Shit Sherlock, was bound to end in this position “Very Well Done” for moving fast and putting things right

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