Looking at the wholesale needs of a London retailer

Daryl Worthington chats wholesale with Pritesh Patel

Name: Pritesh Patel

Store: Linksway Newsagents

Location: Beckenham, south-east London

Number of staff: Two

Operational since: 2008

Average customers per day: 250

It’s almost always better to collect orders yourself, so you can check the dates

Which wholesalers do you use and why do you use them?

Dhamecha and Bestway are the two main cash and carries I use. I prefer Dhamecha because they always have a good price on groceries and drinks. They also give us credit because I’ve been going there a long time. If I need something they don’t have, they’ll either order it for me or suggest somewhere else I can get it from.

Do you get your orders by visiting the cash and carry or having them delivered?

I used to get my orders delivered, until I got my van. It’s almost always better to collect orders yourself, so you can check the dates on what you’re buying. We work on a tight margin, so we can’t risk wastage on short-date products.
Sometimes Bestway and Booker do special online discounts, then you have to compare the prices and decide whether it’s worth ordering online. It depends on the situation. Last summer, for example, we had to order a lot of extra water because of the hot weather. I didn’t have time to go to the cash and carry every day, so I ordered it online.

How can wholesalers improve the online ordering experience?

Ask their staff to be more careful when picking stock, and to check the dates to make sure what they’re sending has a long enough shelf life. Also, to take care with packing – simple things like putting heavy items at the bottom of pallets – to make sure goods aren’t damaged when they arrive.

How can wholesalers improve the cash and carry experience?

I’d say Dhamecha cash and carry is 10 out of 10. There’s no need for improvement. One of the best things is how quick the whole process is. They always have enough counters open to let you get through quickly. The negative with Bestway is there is often a big queue as they don’t have enough staff. Retailers don’t have time to waste standing in a queue, we need to get back to our shops.

What in-depot activity is likely to make you purchase promotional items?

It’s always the seasonal promotions, such as offers on Christmas products or summer deals on water. If there are adverts for promotions at the entrance, we’ll head straight to them to grab the things on offer, rather than looking down every aisle.

How would you rate the wholesale sector on responding to new trends?

Dhamecha and Bestway do a great job of having the right items at the right times.

What food and drink trends do your think will grow this year?

At the moment, I’m selling a lot of chilled coffees, and fresh juices are doing well, particularly ones that are free from additives. We always sell more beer than anything else once the football season starts.


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