VOW Warns Re-Sellers About Grey Stocks Of Q-Connect Products In UK Market

VOW is warning resellers that grey stock of the Q-Connect private label range of low-cost office essentials has reached the UK market.

The leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler has said that only a small amount of the grey stock, which is being sold at reduced prices, is relevant to the domestic market and it believes some of the goods on offer are at least two years old.  

Q-Connect products are aimed at providing a high quality, attractively-priced alternative to brand name office essentials. Established in 1998, the range comprises 70 product groups and over 5,000 lines – including business machines, writing implements and computer consumables – all conforming to the highest EU standards.

The range’s products are available exclusively through members of INTERACTION, the Belgian-based alliance of wholesalers and distributors from more than 20 European countries, which developed and owns the Q-Connect brand.

VOW is the sole wholesaler based in the UK or Republic of Ireland authorised to sell Q-Connect products, as its parent, EVO Group, is the only INTERACTION member located in either country.

Andrew Stacey, marketing and merchandise director with EVO Group, said: “The grey stock has come from a Dutch reseller and it’s therefore unsurprising that only a limited number of its lines are relevant to the UK market.

“The reseller concerned also left INTERACTION some time ago and therefore has no access to the current Q-Connect range. This explains why a significant percentage of the grey stock is toner products that we believe are over two years old. These can be identified easily, as they use the European KF code, rather than the VOW one.”

Andrew said EVO Group had spoken to INTERACTION and were confident there was no more grey stock to come. He also believed measures now in place would ensure a similar episode did not occur in the future.       

He said: “We’d ask resellers to bear in mind that the only wholesaler based in the UK authorised to sell Q-Connect products is VOW.  We can supply from the whole range, with everything we provide being up-to-date and fully relevant to the British market. I’d add that neither we nor INTERACTION have any intention of changing these arrangements.”

Resellers with queries about, or wanting to order items from, the Q-Connect range can contact their VOW Account Manager for further information.


VOW Grows Facilities Supplies Sales By 10 Per Cent Following £500,000 Investment

VOW is reporting facilities supplies sales 10 per cent higher than last year after investing £500,000 in that part of its business during 2017.

The leading business product and facilities supplies wholesaler said some of the money has been used to recruit additional personnel, including two specialist business development managers, who work directly with resellers to increase their product sales.

VOW says the investment has also enabled it to improve marketing support for resellers, offer a more complete product range, deepen its stock holding to aid availability, and instil a better understanding of the facilities supplies marketplace among staff across its business and in the reseller community.       

The company now offers over 5,000 facilities supplies products, in areas such as catering, janitorial supplies, premises management and health and safety compliance, and has direct relationships with over 100 major manufacturers.

VOW says its most popular facilities supplies lines so far this year have been mainly in the cleaning and catering categories. They include hygiene and janitorial products, such as chemicals, mops, buckets, cloths and wipes. Also in-demand have been white goods, beverage and vending machines, cups, cutlery, napkins, sugar and drinks, such as tea, coffee, cola, water and fruit juices.       

Adam Noble, managing director of the Derby-based national business services provider Irongate Group, said: “There’s been a step change from VOW this year in the facilities supplies area, a really important growth category for Irongate. They’ve clearly introduced increased price flexibility and seem to have really listened to their customers over broadening the range of products they offer.”  

Explaining the reasons for the £500,000 investment, VOW managing director Adrian Butler said: “We knew that our resellers were making purchases of facilities supplies products from providers other than us. We also realised we could help resellers increase revenue, through supplying an enhanced level of expertise in areas such as sales and merchandising, and improve efficiency, by enabling them to make multiple purchases on single orders. I’m pleased to say this decision is proving successful.”

Adrian said a major contributor to the performance was VOW’s high-quality overall service, based on a consultative approach.

He said: “Our next day delivery contrasts with many of our competitors only supplying in three to five days and, alongside the rest of our service, this means we now offer a genuinely stockless solution, avoiding resellers having to buy in bulk. In addition, we provide thorough training and marketing support to resellers and deliver an after-sales service that’s second-to-none.”

Adrian added that VOW’s exclusive 2Work range of cleaning products, designed to provide superior solutions at affordable prices, was another key reason for the success.

VOW’s support for some resellers this year has included using their purchase ledgers to help them optimise pricing structures and therefore attract more revenue. VOW says it would encourage other resellers to partner with it in this way.

Adrian said: “The £500,000 investment and enhancements following it reflect the fact that our strategic vision includes adding real value for our resellers and helping them to grow their businesses.”

Facilities supplies and sales training is available to resellers in VOW Venture, the company’s enhanced partner accreditation programme. The next such event is being held on 13 September at the Village Hotel Club, Solihull, West Midlands. Resellers can discover more details by emailing marketing@voweurope.com.  

Resellers wanting more information about, or to order, VOW facilities supplies products should call the sales office on 0844 980 8000 or speak to their account manager.


VOW Encourages Re-Sellers To Act Quickly If They Want To Win Luxury Breaks In Italy Or France

VOW is encouraging eligible resellers to register quickly for an incentive and take their pick of a luxury break in Italy or France if successful.

The leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler has reiterated that the registration deadline for this year’s Heatwave and Whiteout incentive, which offer these prizes, falls on 31 July. The incentive is open to all UK-based resellers in the company’s VOW Venture enhanced partner accreditation programme.    

Each reseller registering for one of the trips will receive a monthly target spend for the period until December on goods supplied by VOW and manufactured by the sponsoring brands. These include 3M, Acco, Bic, Durable, Energizer, ExaClair, Hamelin, Henkel, Newell Brands, Alba, Dahle, Muggi, Schneider, Securit, Q-Connect Toners, VOW Interiors and all VOW’s exclusive brands.

This target will represent a 10 per cent increase on the amount the reseller spent buying equivalent products during the same period last year.

For every £1 the reseller spends over their target, they earn a point. The 38 entrants across the two elements with the most points at close of business on Christmas Eve will go on the trips.

The Heatwave winners will experience three nights at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa, on an exclusive private island in a lagoon near Venice. The Whiteout participants will spend four nights at the Hotel La Chaudanne, in Méribel, one of the world’s finest skiing resorts.

Heather McManus, VOW commercial and marketing director, said: “Our unique Heatwave and Whiteout incentive trips continue to go from strength to strength. Last year, the number of Heatwave and Whiteout participants rose by over 40 per cent. Resellers increased sales of the participating brands by up to 35 per cent during the incentive period.     

“The early signs are that this year’s delegates will be even more successful and we’d urge VOW Venture members who haven’t yet registered to do so before it’s too late.”

Eligible resellers can register for the incentive at www.ventureincentive.co.uk.


VOW Labels Unique Scheme Inviting Re-Sellers To Apply For Longer Credit Terms A 'Game Changer'

VOW has acclaimed its unique new “no cost or catches” scheme under which resellers can apply for 30-day extensions to their current credit terms as a “game-changer”.

The initiative, the first of its kind from a broad line business and facilities supplies wholesaler, is open to all resellers throughout the UK. The scheme is powered through a bespoke agreement VOW has concluded with giant financial services group American Express, which is advertising the initiative using the strapline “supercharge your cashflow.”  

VOW managing director Adrian Butler said: “We’re really excited to be offering this game-changer, which has been a year in the making. It will see resellers currently with payment periods of 60 days, for example, now potentially extending them to 90, following a simple application process. The scheme has no cost or catches for resellers, who’ll deal directly with us, not a third party.  

“Resellers will be able to use the cash freed-up for any purpose they like, including supporting growth plans, attracting new business, safeguarding existing revenue or simply easing any cash flow pressure. We developed the scheme following conversations with resellers about what’s important to their businesses.”

VOW says it briefly previewed the scheme at its mid-year event earlier this month in Northamptonshire. This was attended by about 60 resellers in the VOW Venture enhanced partner accreditation programme, plus company suppliers and staff.

Adrian said: “Even this low-key mention has generated a significant response, with numerous resellers already showing serious interest in securing the benefits of the extended terms.”

Other UK-based resellers interested in taking advantage of the longer payment periods should register by emailing gamechanger@voweurope.com.


VOW Reports Hugely Successful Launch Furniture Range Designed To Deliver Unbeaten Mix Of Quality And Value

VOW, the UK’s largest business product and facilities supplies wholesaler, has reported a “hugely successful” launch of its exclusive First Range of office furniture.

Intended to provide an unsurpassed combination of quality and value, the range also aims to satisfy the vast majority of reseller furniture requirements.

The company said 20 per cent of the resellers in the VOW Venture enhanced partner accreditation programme attending the unveiling event at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds placed immediate orders and the range is already accounting for a fast-rising proportion of its furniture sales.      

First Range contains 130 products, covering 85 per cent of all furniture enquiries VOW receives from dealers. Elements include desking, storage and seating suitable for multiple office environments, plus items for reception, bistro and breakout areas.

The range includes both new products and established VOW offerings, which have had their prices reduced to fit its affordability principle.

Examples of furniture available in First Range include radial desks and pedestals for less than £120, mesh task contemporary look chairs for under £35, reception chairs for less than £25, and multi-purpose stacking chairs for about £16.  

VOW managing director Adrian Butler said: “We wanted to offer dealers a range covering almost all their needs, while providing unbeaten standards of craftsmanship and pricing. We’ve launched First Range now because we really feel we’ve achieved these aims and the early signs are that the launch period is proving hugely successful. We’ll now enhance the range on a quarterly basis.”

First Range is reinforced by VOW’s service, which includes a uniquely late deadline of 4.30pm by which customers can place orders for next day delivery within Britain. The company also offers free carriage for orders worth over £250. In addition, the delivery and installation service – by trained, specialist furniture fitters – includes full packaging removal, product cleaning and tutoring on the furniture’s functionality, if required.   

Attendees at the one-day launch event heard about the thinking behind First Range and VOW’s plans for its future. They also received interactive training in tailored sessions, centred on collaborative working, wellbeing and ergonomics, with staged room layouts displaying First Range items. In addition, resellers and their sales people attending were provided with product knowledge and, following the event, received comprehensive marketing and training materials.   

Adrian said: “This was the first event of its kind we’ve staged and we’re delighted at how it went. On top of being given the chance to appreciate directly First Range’s quality, attendees heard about key trends in the furniture market its products satisfy. They also learned about extensive value-added services we provide that help them to use the range to exploit opportunities, grow their businesses and increase margins.”   

Reacting to First Range’s launch, VOW customer Albert Sterry, of Dublin-based Codex Office Solutions, said: “I’m really impressed by the furniture and the pricing. It’s a great range of desks, storage and seating, which meets customers’ demands and price points. The lead time is impressive and, with the stock behind each product, what’s not to like? Well done, VOW, and keep up the good work.”     

The next First Range roadshow event, to which VOW Venture resellers will be invited, takes place at the Allianz Stadium, Hendon, north London, on 11 October.