Source: Matthew Clark

Pubs, restaurants and bars have been closed en masse amid the coronavirus crisis

Drinks wholesale giant Matthew Clark has launched a delivery app in a bid to open up new routes to market after the collapse of the on-trade.

The app, called Local, allows pubs, bars, restaurants and drinks merchants to take orders for delivery or click & collect with no set-up costs, with Matthew Clark charging a 2% transaction fee on every order.

Businesses need a logo, menu and Stripe Connect account to sign up, after which shoppers can place orders on the web or their mobiles.

It comes as on-trade drinks wholesalers have been blindsided after the nation’s pubs, bars and restaurants were ordered to close their premises – though they are still allowed to offer takeaway and delivery. 

Matthew Clark itself has not cut any jobs, but is currently operating its depots at a reduced level. 

”I worry about wholesalers’ ability to stay in the market,” said a drinks industry source. ”It’s all going to be about your ability to access liquidity in the two or three months ahead – I can see problems coming for all of them, espcially if they’re already running on a stretched cashflow.”

Matthew Clark’s owner C&C Group warned last week it was “unable to accurately quantify” the impact of coronavirus, but expected “a material reduction to our prior expectations” for the current financial year.

It was significantly reducing its capital expenditure, reducing marketing spend and cracking down on other costs, it said. However, it was “committed to ensuring our market-leading positions are preserved and with the obvious on-trade disruption we have reallocated additional resources behind our core brands’ off-trade channels”. 

Read more: crisis drives £160m additional spend on supermarket booze