Split announced between Unitas and Country Range

Unitas has announced the split of a second buying group from its membership in three months after Country Range Group’s departure was revealed.

The decision – which comes on the coattails of Confex’s exit in June – was made after both buying groups decided they were best served to support their members independently of each other.

A joint statement between Unitas Managing Director Darren Goldney and Country Range Managing Director Coral Rose broke the news.

“Upon evaluating our individual programmes, we have now concluded we are better served continuing to develop our standalone activity plans that suit our respective members and give absolute clarity for our supplier partners on the wholesale estates we individually influence,” read the statement.

Country Range were legacy members from Landmark and became a Unitas member when the merge with Today’s Group was completed in 2018.

“Unitas embarked on a journey to simplify and drive transparency for suppliers on ‘who we are’ and ‘what we will influence’,” Goldney said.

“Critical to this is working with wholesale members who can be fully ‘in’ and that can participate more closely in programmes to deliver on shared objectives with suppliers.

“CRG is an excellent operation and a legacy partnership that existed when Unitas Wholesale was formed, with a really strong identity and programmes of their own, so sharing the same programmes and doing the same things in reality is difficult to achieve, when for good reason we are really two separate entities.”

The two businesses will officially part ways at the end of 2020.

“The CRG are a disciplined buying group with an already-established schedule of events, marketing and sales initiatives,” added Rose.

“It is therefore not practical for us to fully engage with the Unitas strategy, which in turn prevents them accomplishing their goals.

“Our membership of Unitas was carried forward from Landmark, where we focused on maximising opportunities of scale for the greater benefit of the members of the respective groups. Unitas has established a clear strategy with their members and supplier partners, not purely focused on scale but also to encourage increased participation in central initiatives for mutual benefit.

buying group Coral Rose Country Range Country Range Group Darren Goldney Unitas Unitas Wholesale