Retailer Profile: Sudesh Patel on how wholesalers can improve

Sudesh Patel

Retailer Sudesh Patel from Londis Coulsdon discusses what wholesalers can do to improve 

Info Box

Store: Londis Coulsdon

Location: Coulsdon, London

Operational since: 2015

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

As we are a Londis retailer, we are with Booker. We use them because they are the biggest wholesaler in the UK and it is convenient for us.

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

We rely heavily on delivery and put our orders through Londis’ online system a few times a week. This is usually timed with our working schedule, which makes the process more convenient.

How can wholesalers improve the online ordering experience?

Londis is great for us. However, it could improve its web ordering. We often have problems with its website because it is not updated with live information, which means that if it is out of stock, usually the website will not be updated with this information. Sometimes as much as 10% of our ordered stock will not show up, which is bad for business. If Londis implemented a live system, we could then order alternative products.

What in-depot activity is likely to capture your attention and get you to purchase promotional items?

Sometimes Londis will run promotions on its website for one or two weeks, but it could do that in-depot as well, as we try to keep up with these promotions as much as we can, especially for alcohol. Alcohol makes up 20% of our stock, but it brings in 80% of our sales. This is a category that we really keep an eye on for promotions.

10%:Percentage of an order that may not be delivered by Patel’s wholesaler

What categories would you like to see wholesalers improve in?

I feel that they can improve in all areas. Stock availability can be a major issue in important categories such as alcohol, chilled food and grocery. The problem is that they are getting more accounts, but they cannot keep up with demand. This is something they need to adjust to.

How would you rate the wholesale sector when it comes to responding to trends?

I feel that they respond well to trends and we are always well supplied with seasonal products. We put our orders through months before Easter or Christmas, for example. The period could be shortened, but it is good that they have that flexibility.

What are the food trends that are going to grow this year?

Natural foods and protein bars are selling well for us, and I think they will continue to grow. Products such as 100-calorie bars, or healthier or sugar-controlled products will most likely also continue to perform well for us.

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