What happened to Elders’ AgSure?

James Nason, 03/12/2015

The entry of a new player in the online merchandise space this week (see this morning’s separate story) follows the disappearance of another key player in the field.

Just over three years ago, under the management of then CEO Malcolm Jackman, Elders launched its own specialist online rural merchandising business AgSure.

The rural shopping website was launched as a standalone business within the Elders network in October 2012 and was seen as presenting a different business model to the traditional Elders branch network, in the same way that Qantas and Jetstar provide different offerings for the same company in the same marketplace.

The online retail site offered “competitively priced, selected animal health and agricultural chemical products, upfront payment and no technical advice”, while Elders’ 220 branches offered “a personal and tailored service, expert advice and a full suite of products and services.”

While some saw the two as being in direct conflict, Elders said AgSure would “complement the existing Elders branch network and will see the company able to offer a complete retail experience,” then Elders General Manager – Strategy and Marketing, Mark Geraghty explained when AgSure was launched.

The site appeared to be making solid progress in 2013 according to a presentation given by then-acting AgSure general manager James Black.

He explained at the time that AgSure had three distribution centres in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, 100 local depots around Australia (with a target of 250), and a database with 70,000+ customer records, with sales growing “at 60-115pc month on month”.

However, the site ceased operating last month.

Since that time visitors to the AgSure website have been redirected to the Elders website where a message explains that AgSure is being transitioned to an “Elders online solution”:

Agsure transition to Elders online solution

We are pleased to announce that from November, Agsure will be transitioning to a new and more efficient online solution, with the existing Agsure operation being integrated under the iconic Elders brand.

While we undertake this transition you can contact us on 1300 820 353 or you can locate your nearest Elders branch for your farm supplies needs via our Branch Locator. Alternatively contact us directly by completing the form below.

If you have any queries in regards to Agsure please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

We are still committed to providing the same industry leading products and excellent service, and look forward to releasing our new online solution shortly.

If you are a reseller, you may be interested in learning more about our Wholesale division. Please contact us on 1300 820 445.

Elders’ recently-released full-year annual report contains no mention of Agsure, with its online platforms listed only as Elders Online, AuctionsPlus (50pc) and, an online livestock classifieds service launched earlier this year.

It is understood a number of former AgSure staff have been told their jobs no longer exist in recent weeks.

For its part Elders is remaining tight-lipped about its reasons for discontinuing AgSure, at least in its previous form, saying that it expects to have more details to announce soon abouts its future plans for online retail, but is not yet in a position to offer further detail.

Following Beef Central’s inquiries Elders also provided the following written statement in relation to AgSure from Mark Allison, Managing Director and CEO:

“Our digital farm supplies strategy is driven by the needs of our customers. Over the past three years, our online retail business Agsure has given Elders a greater understanding of our clients’ needs and their online buying behaviours. Elders’ research recognises that rural clients continue to see significant value in local service and expertise provided by our traditional branch network. Accordingly, we have made a decision to change the direction of our online business to leverage the iconic Elders brand, as opposed to withdrawing from online retail.  In line with our Eight Point Plan, our intention is to launch an Elders online platform, which will provide our clients with an integrated platform that allows them to interact with Elders seamlessly both online and in our branch network. We will continue to invest in innovations that enhance our customers’ experience in dealing with Elders and create efficiencies for their businesses.”




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