Ametller Origen has launched a new business line in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and, in part, due to the new consumption needs that arise from it. To the supply of food he adds from now on a range of drugstore products, with more than 60 references of personal and household hygiene to respond to a demand that his clients had made in recent weeks.
The operation had been on the table for Josep Ametller, owner of the firm, for months, but it did not materialize. The decree of the state of alarm accelerated his plans. Since the confinement began, online sales have skyrocketed – as in the entire food distribution sector – and numerous buyers have called their customer service, which has had to increase, requesting other types of products to centralize their purchase and not having to go to more than one or two stores. “This petition just decided us,” explains Ametller.
The suppliers were already identified and the new business could be launched quickly. The drugstore service is only available on the online channel and in the eight physical stores that serve orders made through the network. “Depending on the acceptance, we could extend it to more establishments”, explains Josep Ametller.
The new products follow the philosophy of the firm: proximity and ecological production prevails. Customers will not find conventional brands.
The pandemic has forced to transform, at least in a conjunctural way, the logistics network and the business model of this chain. The logistics center of El Prat de Llobregat, 2,000 square meters opened just a few months ago, has been converted. Until now, it was thought to serve the catering and businesses, but with the closure of the hospitality premises, this no longer made sense. “Online sales have increased tenfold, if before the pandemic we received fifteen orders a day, now there are 150,” says Ametller. The El Prat logistics center has thus been transformed into a home delivery platform and part of the staff dedicated to serving restaurateurs has been relocated to this service. The company, which has 104 physical stores and billed 200 million euros in the last year – in 2017 it was 140 million euros – has had to reinforce the workforce with 60 new additions, in addition to its 1,500 workers
A reinvention caused by the shock that the coronavirus crisis has caused throughout society.