Confectionery cash & carry specialist Hancocks has thrown in a sweetener for its trade customers by simplifying its delivery charge structure.

The company, which has 20 sites, admitted a complicated delivery charge structure was proving a barrier to purchase so a decision was taken to completely overhaul it.

Now customers in England, Wales and Scotland – but not the Highlands and Islands - who spend more than £150 excluding VAT on confectionery will get free delivery.

A £40 surcharge on drinks will be waived on orders of more than £500, excluding VAT.

A spokeswoman said the surcharge was imposed because drinks were sent out on pallets which cost around £40 each.

She said that it previously depended on what items customers bought rather than the value of what they bought as to what they were charged.

The company said that with the cost of delivery one of the most sensitive issues for online purchases, the simplification would be “extremely popular” with businesses that choose to purchase wholesale confectionery online.

Mark Watson, chief executive of Hancocks, said: “Delivery is a real cost to bear and yet we know that many customers see it as a barrier to purchase.

“We’ve therefore worked to achieve a scenario where we can offer free delivery across the majority of the UK so long as a certain order size is placed.”

The Hancocks ecommerce website stocks more than 2,000 products. Sales were growing by 65% year on year – well ahead of target, the company said.