Source: SoSweet

In the eight weeks since its launch, SoSweet Direct has signed up over 100 retailers within convenience, forecourts, holiday parks and leisure attractions

Confectionery retailer SoSweet has gained 100 new customers through its new direct-to-store wholesale model.

The service, called SoSweet Direct, sees a team of sales reps visiting stores across the southwest to showcase the range to retailers.

They advise on how to best curate and merchandise the range in stores, supported with NPD, PoS and promotions on top-selling products, in order to help retailers drive sales and footfall.

SoSweet director George Robinson, who owns a chain of 15 confectionery stores with his family, said the service was “effectively modernising the traditional van sales model that is known by so many retailers”.

“We’re a retail-first business so our focus with the reps is to provide retailers with well-rounded support that helps them sell products and see success.”

In the eight weeks since its launch, SoSweet Direct has signed up over 100 retailers within convenience, forecourts, holiday parks and leisure attractions, through its team of two sales reps.

Currently spanning Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset and Bristol, SoSweet plans to grow the team to five sales representatives by the end of the year, as it looks to expand into more areas in the south of England and Wales. It eventually intends to operate as a national service.

SoSweet also offers an online wholesale delivered service across the UK, which it launched earlier this year, but has found SoSweet Direct to be more successful in recruiting new accounts due to its targeted approach.

Robinson said it was creating a “one-stop shop” for retailers to access a range sourced from various wholesalers and suppliers including international products not widely available.

It includes products from brands such as Bazooka, Lays, Cheetos, Vidal, Sweetzone, Haribo, and Swizzels, as well as a small range of own-label products that it is currently developing. There are also seasonal products such as rock and seaside sweets available.

The service offers free delivery on orders over £400, excluding VAT, with no minimum order requirements. Orders are dispatched from its 20,000 sq ft distribution centre in Devon and are delivered within two days by third-party courier DPD.

Carters Stores MD Barney Carter said: “We’ve recently started working with SoSweet Direct across our seven convenience stores across Torbay. The SoSweet Direct team have merchandised our stores and introduced new lines in the sweet and snacks departments.

“It’s had a very positive impact across our stores in Torbay and has generated some extra sales in these areas. I look forward to seeing what new lines are introduced and promoting them through our stores throughout the summer.”

SoSweet launched in 2014 and opened its 15th store in Sidmouth last month. It hopes to have 20 stores by the end of 2025.

Located on high streets and tourist seaside areas, the stores offer a diverse range of pick ‘n’ mix, US imported products and “retro and timeless classics”.

“There’s something for everyone, and we’re playing right into what people are craving,” added Robinson. “Most people are on holiday, enjoying themselves, and looking to indulge. Even someone who is really into their fitness and health wouldn’t mind deviating from their day-to-day diets for a treat.

“There are not many very businesses with a similar offer to ours. We’ve really honed in on those years of retail experience and perfected the model.”