John Searle
John Searle is leaving Landmark

BW: What is Landmark’s unique selling point?

JS: We pride ourselves on offering our members the very best support by spending time face-to-face with them to form strong, lasting relationships. This is set against the backdrop of our highly competitive terms package, which includes everything from wholesale prices to varied marketing and promotion programmes.

How has Landmark expanded and attracted new members in the past year?

We offer all our members a superb range of services that we know are essential to boosting profitability.

Lifestyle Express is our award-winning retail fascia, providing wholesalers with fantastic offers for their customers, whilst offering retailers the Cash Back initiative and in-store promotions.

The Lifestyle Express Retail Development Programme has been a huge success, seeing significant sale uplifts in all converted stores.

How has Landmark developed members’ businesses?

In the past year, we have launched more than 100 foodservice items, mostly in the growing frozen category, with another 50 being added to the range throughout 2017. Own-brands play a crucial role in our business, not just providing high value, but also driving customer loyalty between our members and their retail and foodservice customers. Our newest member, Beer Warehouse, is a great addition to the group, further bolstering our licensed offer.

What impact has this had?

Most Landmark members have experienced growth in sales and volume in excess of market averages, which shows that the overall group strategy is working, particularly when teamed with local action plans.

What category support does Landmark provide to members?

Alongside greater buying power, better deals, increased margins and improved access to suppliers, members can benefit from our central distribution, IT support, credit terms, own-brand ranges, and our invaluable insight system. For retail members, there’s Lifestyle Express and for foodservice members, we have a dedicated Caterer Connections Club that brings them together with wholesalers and suppliers to enhance profitability.

What has been Landmark’s most significant achievement for its members over the past year?

Our commitment to putting the needs of our members first has ensured that our group strategy focuses on their continued success. For example, Abra Wholesale has just been named by the London Stock Exchange as one of the top 1,000 companies to inspire Britain.

What does Landmark plan to do over the next year to ensure that it offers members the service and added-value that they need from their buying group?

We will continue to develop and strengthen our Caterer Connections Club, which delivers fantastic benefits for members and suppliers. We will also continue to evolve Lifestyle Express and support our retailers in growing their businesses. Own-brand will also remain a focus, to ensure members have access to a quality point of difference.

What will be the biggest challenge Landmark’s members face over the next year and how will you help them?

Wholesale is an incredibly competitive environment, never more so than now. Margin requirement is firmly at the front of our minds, as it’s being squeezed by unavoidable costs such as the National Living Wage, pension auto-enrolment, the sugar levy and business rates. Price inflation continues to have an impact due to rising costs, the prominence of pricemarked packs and the £1 strategy.

We recognise all these challenges, and will be working closely with members and suppliers to provide the support and services they need to thrive. This will not only strengthen our offer, but also provide our customers with continually improving range and service.

What are the latest announcements from Landmark?

We were delighted to add two new members to our group in the first few months of the year: Inspira Trading and Beer Warehouse. This month, we are launching our Lifestyle Learning Academy, a free online training resource for our retailers. Our new managing director, John Mills, took up his post on 22 May.

Fast Landmark Facts

Name of latest member: Inspira Trading and Beer Warehouse
Buying power:£2.8bn
Number of members: 39


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