The wholesale buying group, which specialises in impulse lines, plans to launch Sugro Online on January 5 after a PR blitz on retailers.
The group mainly supplies CTNs at present, but Sugro MD Philip Jenkins said the service would be aimed at the c-store and forecourt sector.
“This is a move to diversify and broaden our customer base,” he explained.
Jenkins said Sugro would not supply a full convenience offering from launch, as it would concentrate on impulse, but new categories would be added through the year with a full service by the year-end.
“We are not aiming to be a c-stores’ primary supplier from day one, but we will be a damn good number two.”
Jenkins said high service levels would encourage take-up on the new categories as they were introduced.
He would not be drawn on how many retailers he expected to register, but said a massive information campaign would launch in December.
Leaflets in English, Urdu and Gujarati will go to 50,000 stores and up to 30,000 stores will be cold-called by local depots.
Jenkins said Sugro was also picking up business from manufacturers as a result of the introduction of factory gate pricing by the major retailers.
He said manufacturers had been effectively cross-subsidising smaller deliveries from the money earned from delivering full loads to retailers.
Sugro, he said, was an expert in small drop distribution, distributing more than eight million cases and 150,000 transactions a year, and its 20 depots provided national coverage. He said he was in discussions with a number of manufacturers.