ARN's Ones to Watch 14
John Crichton

ARN : John Crichton on the E-Mail that Stopped a Colleague in His Tracks – and Other Stories

ARN MD John Crichton’s latest blog post for PV

Hello again

If I were to mention the name ‘Matt Oxley’, you may well ask, ‘who he?’

Now only £14.99

Matt is our Purchasing Director; you’ll never see him on the ARN stand at Vendex but he’s a important cog in our wheel and he’s been in the business a long time. He thought he’d seen it, done it and worn out the T-shirt – but a recent event stopped him in his tracks…

It came in the shape of an e-mail from Dan, our contact at Britvic – and Matt’s initial response was: ‘I didn’t quite fall off my chair…’  You see, the e-mail’s subject line read, ‘Price Decrease – Pepsi Regular 500ml PET.’ Having checked it wasn’t April 1st, Matt replied to the e-mail asking for confirmation, which Dan duly provided: ‘To clarify, you have read the title correctly!’ he wrote. ‘We have chosen strategically to reduce the price of Pepsi Regular 500ml PET for Automatic Retailing.’

All of which means that, with the sun already shining and summer on its way, a proven product that’s a vending best-seller is going to cost you less. In fact, a case of Pepsi Regular 500ml PET will now set you back just £14.99, which is good news – and goodness knows we all need some of that right now.

In this day and age, for any brand to lower the cost of its product is pretty astounding. It’s further proof, if any were needed, that we’re living through strange times. The only thing you have to decide is, ‘do I pass the decrease on, or do I improve my margins?’ I know what I’d do…


That bombshell aside, frankly there’s not a lot to get excited about at ARN this month. Some suppliers are continuing the struggle to avoid price rises, others have already watched that ship sail. There is some good news: I know we’ve been banging on about KitKat pops, but this is a line that’s only available to the public through vending and foodservice channels. It’s a long time since we’ve seen a product take-off as fast as this one has. It’s hands-down a bit of a winner, so If you’re not stocking it yet, don’t let it pass you, buy! (Do you see what I did there?!)

What did you think of Vendex Midlands?  I thought it wasn’t bad at all. Any new venue for the show needs a bit of warming up, in my opinion. It took two or three events at the bike museum for it to feel like ‘home’ to me. Having said that, all the major suppliers I’ve spoken to loved it. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting set in my ways? (I’m joking: If that ever happens, feel free to shoot me!)

Oh well, back to work.

Until the next time, ‘gan canny’.

John Crichton
MD, ARN Ltd.

Catch up on previous pearls of wisdom John, HERE













About the author

The Editor

Planet Vending’s Editor is Ian Reynolds-Young and it’s Ian’s unique writing talent that has made PV what it is today – the best read (red) vending blog in the world, and vending’s best read (reed). Ian ‘tripped and fell into vending’, in the capacity of PR executive, before launching a specialist agency, ‘reynoldscopy’, dedicated to the UK Vending business. The company continues to represent the interests of many of the sector’s leading brands.

‘It’s all about telling stories’, he says. ‘We want to make every visit to PV a rewarding experience. By celebrating the achievements of the UK’s operating companies, we’re on a mission to debunk the idea that vending is retailing’s poor relation.’

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