Proposed merger expected to spur on suppliers

Today’s Group and Landmark members to benefit if plans are approved

Members of Today’s Group and Landmark Wholesale can expect to benefit from a “more streamlined, efficient and transparent group” if plans for the two buying groups’ merger are approved.

It was announced on Monday that the two wholesale juggernauts were planning to form a new business, Unitas Wholesale Ltd, to create a larger, more efficient and effective group that supports independent wholesalers.

And according to a joint statement released by Today’s Managing Director Darren Goldney and Landmark Managing Director John Mills, a big part of that will be the negotiating stance of a larger group.

“Through Unitas Wholesale, suppliers will have one point of access to circa-180 members, who between them own more than 300 depots servicing tens of thousands of customers in the convenience retail, foodservice and catering sectors as well as to small businesses and some export markets,” they said.

“We expect suppliers will be keen to seize the opportunities that a more streamlined, efficient and transparent group can offer. We believe they will want to invest more into an organisation that will offer them better returns.

“The merger will enable reduced costs to run the organisation. Full details are being worked on through a process of commercial due diligence and planning which will culminate in a period of consultation and selection commencing on 24 September 2018.”

If the proposal is approved by two members’ votes next month, there will be a number of processes that need to be worked out as the two businesses become one – although some plans have already been agreed in advance of any confirmation. One of these is the new company’s own brand, which will be Landmark’s Caterer’s Kitchen range, while no changes are expected for the fascia groups initially.

Goldney and Mills’ statement continued: “It has been decided that the new company’s catering and foodservice own brand range will be Caterer’s Kitchen, which is currently Landmark’s brand.

“In 2019, there will be a phased conversion of the Today’s and Lifestyle retail own brand ranges into a new own label brand yet to be agreed. Landmark’s exclusive brand ranges such as No3 (tobacco), LSV (soft drinks), Prince Consort (spirits), Vintner’s Collection (wines) etc will be offered to members of the new company.

“Both groups have their own group fascias, which are used by some members. It has been agreed that no changes will be made ahead of the new company being formed and that a Retail Committee comprising the Retail Director and key members who participate in group fascias and retail clubs would be formed to agree the new company’s retail strategy going forward.”

Darren Goldney John Mills Landmark Wholesale Today's Group Unitas Wholesale