Virtual drinks wholesaler launches

The licensed hospitality sector saw the launch of a “virtual” wholesaler last month when Ooberstock went live with promises to deliver “greater transparency, lower prices and improved customer choice” over traditional operations.

Ooberstock is an online wholesaler where drinks suppliers can upload their product details, including promotional offers, new launches, photographs and prices.

The retail customers pay net prices direct from the suppliers, which include a transaction fee for each order they place, plus a £24 delivery charge. Ooberstock charges a fee for each litre of product that is ordered from the brand owner, meaning suppliers’ costs are directly tied to the volume they sell through the website. Outlets can choose their own weekday delivery slots.

Suppliers which have already signed up to Ooberstock include: Heineken UK; Coca-Cola Enterprises; Britvic Soft Drinks; Budweiser Budvar; Red Bull; SHS Sales amp; Marketing; Highland Spring and Wells amp; Youngs.The company also says more than 4,000 pubs, bars, clubs and hotels have registered for its web-based service and it is targeting a further 70,000 over the coming weeks.

Arran Heal, managing director of Ooberstock, said: “By the end of the summer retailers will be able to buy from the ranges of  four out of the top five spirits companies and we plan to bring on other niche suppliers including speciality spirits, wines, world beers, ciders, premium soft drinks and additional cask ales.”

Heal added that another USP of the site was that it allowed suppliers to target promotions to specific outlet type or postcode areas and measure the return.

The technology and logistics support behind Ooberstock is provided by logistics company Kuehne and Nagel, BCW Group – a business process outsourcer and Itradenetwork, which provides supply chain IT management services.

Ooberstock says a mobile phone app is now in the pipeline plus links to its customers through social media.

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