Grocery’s answer to eBay, Emarket, is targeting the convenience sector via a tie-up with news whole-salers Menzies Distribution and Smiths News.
The online trading operation will use the wholesaler’s supply chain networks to distribute grocery products to 34,000 independent retailers across the UK.
Emarket co-founder Suraj Sharma told The Grocer the new model gave suppliers a cost-effective way of bringing new brands to the independent channel, as well as a means for established brands to push through surplus stock and offer retailers more competitive prices.
Retailers were being offered small quantities of product on a sale or return basis, he said. Following successful trials last year, Emarket was looking to increase the range of both new and established brands it offered, he added.
The trial last February involved the launch of Navson’s chocolate milk drink Mooch. Emarket reported a 40% take-up of stock by retailers during the initial push through Menzies’ network. A follow-up in December with surplus stock of brands such as kitKat, Rizla King Size and Ribena was even more popular with retailers, Sharma said, with a 70% take-up.
“It’s a win-win for retailers and suppliers,” Sharma said. “We offer premium branded products and because we are using the wholesalers’ existing network it has almost no extra cost and is greener. And the sale or return element means retailers can spread their payments.”
Emarket specialises in residual and grey market stock from around Europe and while some of the stock it is using in the convenience scheme is coming from other wholesalers.
Sharma said the business was increasingly working directly with suppliers. They traeted Emarket just like any other delivered wholesaler, he claimed.
Around €60m of business has been done via its trading platform since its launch in late 2009. “We have only been going just over a year but we have learned a lot in that time,” said Sharma. For more information, go to www.emarket.com