Coles adopts new online service benefiting small and medium suppliers
An Australian-first online tool has been adopted by supermarket group Coles to give small and medium sized businesses a new sales opportunity for their products.
The new online initiative called RANGEme allows companies to promote their products and exchange information with Coles’ buying team in a simple, effective way over the Internet.
RANGEme is the brainchild of 33-year-old Nicky Jackson, who established the online business after experiencing difficulty in accessing potential buyers for her baby skincare range.
With hundreds of producers already signed on to her website, Ms Jackson’s online service gives producers direct access to Coles’ team of buyers.
Ms Jackson said RANGEme would “create efficiencies” for small and medium businesses.
“Whether you have a grocery product, a healthy and beauty item or a fresh food product, this marketing tool will open new doors to Coles,” Ms Jackson said.
“Small and medium businesses can often spend large amounts of time and resources looking to secure a buyer for their products,” Ms Jackson said. “RANGEme provides them with an easy and confidential way to access the right buyers at Coles and promote their products directly,” she said.
“Buyers are time-poor but they don’t want to miss out on new and innovative ideas either,” Ms Jackson said. “This allows them to know about emerging products simply by accessing the website,” she said.
Coles said its partnership with RANGEme was part of its move to increase its supply of locally-produced food and drink, following research that showed that 70 per cent of customers wanted to buy locally-grown or made food.
Coles Head of Merchandise Support Jon Haggett said the new online initiative was an extension of Coles’ existing sourcing program to source new, innovative local products.
“We are keen to meet potential suppliers face-to-face and try to do that nationally whenever we can,” Mr Haggett said. “However, this new online tool means that small and medium businesses have an easy and direct way to approach us with their new products,” he said.
The partnership also comes two years after Coles instigated a Meet the Buyer program, where Coles’ team of buyers visit different locations around Australia to meet with local producers who are keen to show off their products. Since the Meet the Buyer program, Coles said it had signed on more than 140 new local products.
To gain access to RANGEme, producers can log in through the RANGEme website (www.rangeme.com.au).