ARN's Ones to Watch 13
John Crichton

ARN: John Crichton on How ‘Mr Cool’ is Getting Excited by a New Website

ARN is the specialist wholesaler to the vending industry; John Crichton is its CEO.


Hello again

As most people who know me will agree, I’m not an excitable chap. ‘Calm’, ‘level-headed’, ‘treats triumph and disaster just the same’: I reckon that’s how I’m seen by my colleagues, my customers and my friends. ‘Mr. Cool’.

But on July the first, something massive is going to happen at ARN that’s going to make the entire customer experience so, so much better. So just now, I’m like a kid at Christmas, counting down the ‘sleeps’ before the Big Day dawns.

Who knew I could get so worked up about a new website? Our new website. In fact, our new, ‘all-singing-all-dancing’ website. To be fair, the new-look website is what customers will see; but it’s just the skin of an entirely new digital system at ARN that will transform the way in which our customers interact with us – and vice-versa…


The new facility will be available across all your connected gadgets – phone, pad, p.c., whatever. It’s been designed to fit on all those screens perfectly, guaranteeing a great experience whatever device you choose to use.

‘Easy’ is a word I use a lot when I’m talking about the new system.

There’s a ‘live’ chat capability, so if you need to speak to us about something, it’s quick, and easily done.  ‘Easy’ is a word I use a lot when I’m talking about the new system. Setting up an account is easy; you can be buying online in minutes and it’s just as easy to request your preferred delivery date. Another impressive element of the package is the improvement it’s brought to our on-line ‘Product Search’ function. It’s so easy now to find the products you want to buy. You can even search by type, instead of by name: ‘Vegetarian’, ‘Kosher’ or ‘Halal’, for instance. You can search by brand name and, I’m chuffed to say, it even autocorrected my spelling mistakes when I was ‘hands on’ with it a few days ago.

All in all, the new website / digital system / minor miracle gets you where you want to be, without any faff. Dead easy.

We want buying online from ARN to be all about your convenience and giving you more choices. Now, you can order from us 24/7. You can manage your account online, for instance to download copy invoices and credit notes, not to mention nutritional and allergen information on every item we sell. You can add products to your own ‘favourites’ folder, making access even easier.

As you browse, you’ll be able to access ‘Live Stock’. Now, that’s nothing to do with farm animals, in case you were wondering; it’s a way to see, in real time, which items are in the warehouse, ready to go. And if what you want isn’t available, this new marvel of digital ingenuity will suggest suitable replacements. Best of all, we’re going to be offering some deals in the future that will only be available online… There’s news of a couple of deals below, if you scroll down…

What’s not to love? So, keep an eye on your in-box. You’ll need to log-on to access the new site and we’ll be sending an e-mail any day now that provides clear instructions on how to do it. And, as you might guess, it’s easy.


Ah well, back to work. I need to calm down.

Until next time, gan canny

John Crichton

*Read more from ARN on Planet Vending, HERE

Just a couple of deals for you this time – but you can really get your teeth into both of them…

We’ve got a sound-as-a-pound offer on the new, limited edition Caramel Twirl, from Cadbury. An outer of 48 x 43gm bars will currently set you back just £21.59+VAT – but only until the end of the month… Back in Autumn 2019, when the previous ‘limited edition’ Twirl was launched – the unforgettable Orange Twirl – there was such a feeding frenzy that we had to ration it. Just like its predecessor, Caramel Twirl is delivering incremental sales, so don’t miss out. As they say, ‘when they’re gone, they’re gone’.

When it comes to the crunch, Burt’s crisps take some beating so here’s a deal for you to chew over! We have the new range, ‘Burt’s Ridges’, on ‘buy four, get one free’. New Burts Ridges takes the brand into the fast-growing Ridge Cut segment, bringing even bigger and bolder flavours to the category. The two new flavours offer a premium take on the trend of spicy seasoning and bistro foods – Reaper Chilli and Lime and a Steak Surf & Turf. Offer your customers a brand-new flavour experience!





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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