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VENDING SECURITY Future oF the ‘go-to’ market


Whilst it appears that the UK is well on its roadmap out of retrictions, it is important for us to recognise that the workplace is going to change, and businesses must ensure they are prepared for the ‘new normal’. Going forward, we are going to see a much greater level of flexibility from employers, and this will likely have an impact on what services businesses choose to offer within the workplace, especially regarding catering and refreshment options. As consumers grow more comfortable with cashless catering and


other types of retail technology, this also opens the door for more unattended retail markets, such as micro-market vending – a custom designed vending market or mart with a self-checkout kiosk. The 2020 AVA census showed there are now 200 new micro-markets in operation since last year, with around 320 now installed across the UK. At the recent AVA AGM, Tom Williams from Coinadrink, shared an


insight into the areas of business development which have been the focus over the last year. He said: “In our business, we have seen a huge growth in ‘express refreshments’, which includes the installation of micro- markets, new smart fridges and an increase in fresh food services.” According to Tom, the average product selling price for micro-markets


is 20-30% more, compared to traditional vending. This has meant that for Coinadrink, they have seen a 350% increase in sales compared to the previous vending offering. This increased revenue clearly demonstrates the demand for unattended retail and micro-market services, and in fact customers are inclined to spend more, which is something that the vending industry must consider going forward. As well as a growth in micro-markets, the vending industry has


diversified further during this time. Coinadrink for example, relaunched its own label coffee offering called ‘Café Casa’ in 2020. It became more important to have a product that is available for every market – whether that is coffee bags, pods or capsules, or ground coffee suitable for machines. Before the pandemic, the business’ own label offer equated for just 3% of sales, however following the rebrand last year, it is now already delivering 15% of online and wholesale value – predicted to grow further as more products are added to the range. The last year has shown that there must be an enhanced focus on dedication to user experience and making sure that you can provide products that suit them. With more people working from home, and likely to continue doing so more flexibly, there has been a growth in the ‘home barista experience’ and so being able to operate an ecommerce shop online and deliver directly to customers has also been highly beneficial for the business.


the developed service oFFering


During the last year, it has been so important that businesses could find new opportunities and ensure they are able to take advantage of the circumstances, rather than admitting defeat. Gary Lewis from Cafépoint, shared his experiences of the pandemic


at the AVA AGM. He said: “The pandemic has forced businesses to do things differently. We have to adapt and change in order to keep ahead and despite this taking us out of our comfort zone, we have found that it has really paid off and are feeling very positive about the future. “As a business, we decided it was an opportunity to invest, to help


upskill and train our current teams and to recruit skilled individuals that may have lost their jobs in other sectors. While offices may have been closed and vending products were not in as high demand, we were able evaluate the skills we had in our teams and provide additional services. For one client, we even helped to fit new handbasins and sanitisation stations, to help them be more covid-safe and secure.” This level of technology and innovation in vending not only shows


that the industry is future proofing, but that the industry is ready for the future where contactless interaction and customer safety is at the heart of the retail customer experience.


22 | vendinginternational-online.com


Vending looks to widen its appeal


With the demand for contact free transactions some businesses are looking to incorporate vending in varied locations which has seen a rise in demand for secure machine housings. It’s a trend that has not gone unnoticed by Safer Systems (UK). The


company reports that improved sales and staff recruitment has led to a strong interest amongst its customers for secure vending housings which opens up new potential sites previously seen as vulnerable to costly vandalism and theft. The protection these housings offers expands opportunities for


product offering while at the same time safeguarding against vandalism, theft and wear and tear – and all in an aesthetically pleasing frame. Steven Bane, managing director, commented: “We are encouraged


by the number of businesses looking at extending their vending reach through vending in traditionally vulnerable or outdoor locations. Demand for our secure vending machine housings is at an all-time high, as vending companies now look to expand into new sites. “We have placed housings in pub beer gardens, car parks, leisure


centres and golf courses – in fact wherever there is the promise of high footfall. With the housings protecting the machine from the elements, vending can offer hot and cold drinks as well as snacks wherever there is access to power. And the machine is protected from vandalism and theft too – keeping it working and looking good whatever the weather. “Naturally no-one wants to use a machine that looks like it needs


protecting; our housings enhance the appearance of the machine, with branding opportunities and LED lighting. And, with our anti-litter roof and sides as an option, they are suitable for railway sites and other areas where litter or terrorism can prevent traditional machine housings from being placed. “We are a long way from the end of


this very difficult period for our industry, but it is encouraging that vending is looking at new markets to strengthen its offering to the public.”


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