Wholesale invests for success
After a challenging few years, it’s clear the future is looking bright for wholesale as businesses share plans for expansion and acquisition while celebrating record sales growth
Following such an intense period of uncertainty and fear over the past three years, it is clear that the tables have turned, or are turning, as UK wholesalers make ambitious plans for the future.
Alongside announcements of future plans come statements declaring record-beating sales figures, such as Parfetts, which has recently announced record sales growth, topping £634m in the past year.
Following its expansion into Birmingham with its eighth depot, Parfetts is reaping the rewards from its retailer-focussed approach, with an increase of 4.7% in like-for-like sales, plus the expansion of its Go Local fascia to more than 1,100 stores.
Expansion is also on the cards for some of the national players.
At FWDLive!, Bidfood’s Andrew Selley announced its intention to grow its depot network with sites opening in Bedford and Worcester over the coming months. Meanwhile Costco is also said to be eyeing up 14 potential sites across the UK to add to its current 29.
Having set its sights on expanding its London footprint, LWC Drinks has also opened a brand new depot. The new 116,000sq ft facility will create 60 new jobs, and will be the third depot to service London and the Home Counties.
Ebrahim Mukadam, managing director for LWC Drinks: “As our customer base has grown, it is imperative that we uphold our commitment to service levels and maintain the same high standard of service our customers and partners have come to expect.
This means investing in our local infrastructure and facilities, as we grow, to futureproof and protect our service level for years to come. We would never want our business successes to risk compromising our service – the foundation of our business – which is why we will always reinvest where we can, to safeguard this.”
While expansion may not be on the cards for all, many businesses are investing heavily in order to attract and retain customers.
Confectionery specialist Hancocks is implementing an investment programme across all 14 depots. The wholesaler aims to make navigation around depots easier for customers with improved signage, branded aisles and specialist areas.
Jonathan Summerley, chief operating officer at Hancocks, said: “We made these refurbishments with a customer-friendly experience in mind – our goal was to make it easy for retailers to navigate the store from the moment they enter until they reach the checkout.”
In addition, individual wholesalers are expanding their sites in order to meet increasing customer demand. Lomond: The Wholesale Food Co is expanding its Glasgow depot while Country Fare is building a new site that will enable the Bournemouth business to expand its offer.
It’s not just Bidcorp bolstering its presence in foodservice, others are also making headlines. Following its purchase of EFG Foodservice in 2022, Savona Foodservice has now acquired Debono Foods.
Savona’s managing director Mike Morgan said: “Our growth over recent years reflects the passion and dedication of our entire team, and our sights are firmly set on evolving further with one goal in mind – providing effortless convenience for the caterer.”AG Parfett and Sons Andrew Selley Bidfood Debono Foods Ebrahim Mukadam EFG Foodservice Hancocks Jonathan Summerley Lomond Foods LWC Drinks Savona Foodservice