ARN boss John Crichton on Vendex
Yes, it’s Vendex time again, so no doubt you’ll be expecting me to give you the usual blah-blah-blah about all the exciting things we’ll have for you in Milton Keynes
This time, can we take that as read? There will be the usual ‘on the day’ offers on, er… offer at Vendex and the usual team will be there in (what is becoming) our usual place: the first stand you see when you come in through the door.
We’ve always thought of this as ‘Prime Position’, but this time round, ‘Prime’ has a new meaning, because with a bit of luck, we’ll have lots of samples of this soft-drink phenomenon on the ARN stand for you to try. What’s more, we won’t even be charging you for the privilege, because ARN is one of the first wholesalers the brand has embraced. It really wants to build a presence in the nation’s vending machines.
Fans of KSI and Logan Paul, (I had to look them up, to be honest), have been spending far above the recommended retail price for a bottle of Prime. Apparently, an off-licence in Wakefield has been getting £100 a pop (to the annoyance of KSI) and the drink has become so popular with kids, that it’s being offered on eBay for 10 times its RRP…
Prime has been hyped since it made its debut in Asda: to prevent customers from buying bottles with the intention of reselling them at shamelessly high prices, Asda set the limit of three bottles per person. Then, Aldi stores were ‘left in chaos’, when punters formed disorderly queues to get their hands on Prime when it went on sale at the end of last year.
There is even – get this! – a tracker app, which allows customers to make sure Prime is in stock, preventing an unnecessary schlepp to the local shop.
It’s small wonder, then, that ARN customers are excited to get Prime into their machines: to say it’s driven its own narrative is an understatement.
I’ve got a Prime story that’ll make you smile featuring Allan (Walker) and his son, Finn. They were minding their own business on Quayside one day recently when a couple of local lads (Allan calls them scalpers!) approached them: ‘Hey mister, do you want to buy a bottle of Prime?’
Now, you might think that ‘no thanks’ would have done. However, there’s this thing called ‘pester power’ and Finn – who was yet to experience the delights of the drink – embarked upon that process of adolescent lobbying that begins with ‘aw, dad!’ and usually ends with ‘that’s so unfair!’. To cut a long story short, Allan handed over £4 and Finn got his drink. But that’s not the funny bit.
‘If you like it, I’ll do your next bottle for £3.50’, the young entrepreneur announced. ‘I’m getting them from Aldi for £2’, he said, ‘so it’s not like I’m making any money…’
I’ll leave it at that.
Meanwhile, back to work.
Until next time, gan canny.
*John Crichton is CEO of ARN, vending’s favourite wholesaler.
More from John on Planet Vending is HERE