Ewen Cairns, UK sales manager at Foster and Gamko, reveals how the sister companies’ new packages of financing measures is helping to generate sales:
Why have Foster and Gamko launched this package of financing measures?
Cash flow is king right now, and that’s why we’ve decided to do our bit by pulling together a package for our dealers that is effectively putting our money where our mouth is at a time when the industry is being hit hardest.
Pubs, bars and restaurants have been shut for months, and because of that, those reopening now may find that their kitchen equipment wasn’t decommissioned properly at the start of the lockdown.
Our UK-wide 0% interest-free offer, now available over 24 months with an initial 3-month payment holiday, offers a real and meaningful form of support for both our distributor network and their customers. Our offer gives people the opportunity to own market-leading products, without that initial outlay.
How will this upgrade benefit dealers and their customers?
This isn’t just an upgrade; we’re doubling our previous offer, so we now offer interest-free credit over 24 months, basically halving the monthly bill, all while the product works for you. And by the final payment the product will be owned outright. In the current climate, we’re taking all the financial risk. There is no admin fee and, subject to credit check, no need for a deposit, so this really is the ultimate fully transparent no catches deal.
On top of that we’re also offering a three-month payment holiday – where nothing is paid for the first 3 months – on products delivered before 31 October 2020. We’re really happy to be able to offer hospitality a way to get back on its feet. Again, we’re being really transparent with this, so as you’d expect, payments will be equally split over the final 21 months on a 24-month agreement, 15 months on an 18-month deal, or 9 months on a 12-month agreement. To be clear, there’s absolutely no fee for doing this, it’s a true payment holiday.
We’re even allowing customers the option to include installation and extended warranty in the deal, making it really easy to do business with us. In addition, the purchase of certain non-Foster and Gamko equipment can be included, up to a maximum of 25% of the order value, meaning for example that fabrication could be included within the agreement.
There’s no minimum or maximum order value, so whether it’s a single undercounter or multiple full Flexbar installations, access to the entire offer is allowed.
Have you had to invest in additional internal resources to set the scheme up?
We’ve actually been doing this for some time, with ITW having over 40 years’ experience offering such financial packages within the group. Due to its popularity, ITW have created a new division within the food equipment group to service Foster and Gamko, Hobart and Avery Berkel’s customers. This alignment means that our dealers and customers can benefit from the easy purchase of equipment across each business, along with a streamlined service – we have setup a dedicated team for the interest-free credit process after all, meaning a quick turnaround is guaranteed.
By offering interest-free credit financed by ITW, there are no third parties involved. We’re in the fortunate position of being an ITW business, so this service is being funded by ITW’s own resources, hence why we’re able to offer such an attractive package with no additional charges or hidden middle-man fees.
We’re taking the risk away from our dealers by shouldering it ourselves. This is a time of unprecedented uncertainty, so we know how important such financial protection is.
What has been the response from the market?
Well we expected the response to be strong, but not quite as strong as it’s been! Fortunately, the dedicated team we put in place means we’ve been able to cope with the demand. It’s also great to report that the finance packages have had a 99% approval rate to date.
It’s been reassuring to see that the appetite for top-quality refrigeration is still very much out there as kitchens are putting even more importance on the reliability of a product and the total cost of ownership. People really get that investing in high-quality equipment saves you money over its lifespan, and so to have a means of helping to spread the investment at no extra cost is great news.
Our marketing team has created some great materials for our dealers to use, and these have proven popular – the uptake has been impressive! Supporting our dealers is important to us and giving them the tools to promote the offer to their customers is just common sense. We’d encourage any of our distributors to get in touch with their regional business manager for more information on these if you’re interested.
For more information, visit www.fosterrefrigerator.com/interestfree