Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Good Market for Local Ethical Traders

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Good Market for Local Ethical Traders

Article excerpt

Byline: John Hill

PROMINENT Gateshead online trader Ethical Superstore is launching a marketplace where ethical businesses and charities can sell their produ cts to the general public.

Ethical Superstore has become the leading source of ethical products in the UK over the last seven years, recording sales of pounds 4.3m in the year to July 2010 and offering over 9,000 products.

The company hopes the official launch of its OneGoodMarket venture will allow it to expand its product range to 100,000 by allowing retailers to offer products through the platform without taking up space in the business' Team Valley warehouse. Ethical Superstore co-founder Vic Morgan said: "Our vision of Ethical Superstore was to be an ethical Amazon. What it's become is a successful and large retailer of products. "With OneGoodMarket, we're aiming to make our successful e-commerce platform available to retailers and create a marketplace where suppliers can have their own storefront within the site.

"We turn away hundreds of suppliers every year because there are limits to space, but they are now no longer limited by which products we can stock in our warehouse."

Ethical Superstore has been boosted by two investments from the Finance for Business North East fund, and has attracted funding from organisations including Northstar Ventures, NEL and Newcastle-based entrepreneur Jeremy Middleton.

He said: "We've raised a few rounds of finance, and the last round of pounds 1m in June was instrumental in making this happen."

While the superstore itself offers a range of products including the Cafedirect, Divine Chocolate and Traidcraft brands, Morgan said the new marketplace will be particularly useful for shopping on a more local level.

He said: "This gives us the chance to tackle the local shopping part of the market in which you can type in your postcode and find out where to go for your fresh goods. …

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