The big buyers: Today’s Group

    How the UK’s top buying groups are helping wholesalers to grow business in a tough marketplace  

    Buying groups: Today’s Group

    today's group
    Bill Laird, managing director, Today’s Group
    What has been Today’s main achievement in the past 12 months?

    Our on-trade membership has grown to 19 members after we acquired 12 former National Drinks Distribution (NDD) members at the end of last year and four more at the start of this year. The remaining three were existing NDD members. Together, they add £180m to on-trade volume, which now totals £450m. The opportunity to combine on-trade expertise and volume with Today’s market presence and scale presents all involved with a rare, game-changing opportunity in what is an increasingly competitive sector. 

    How are your members performing?

    At the start of the year, Dhamecha, HT Drinks, United Wholesale, Elbrook and JW Filshill all endured tough trading conditions but maintained their positions as top 30 wholesalers. This is a great indicator of the resilience and long-term commitments of our wholesalers to the independent sector. Our largest UK-based member, Dhamecha, reported sales of £585m, up 3.6% from the previous year, despite industry experts warning a few years ago that the rise of delivered wholesale would see the demise of the cash & carry.  

    Fast facts

    £5.7bn Buying power

    171 members

    Sectors covered include grocery, licensed, impulse, health and beauty, on-trade, and foodservice

    Latest member: One way wholesale

    Established 1987

    112 own-label lines

    How has Today’s improved its service to members in the past 12 months?

    At the start of the year, we launched our Gold Rush trade event days, which drive sales and profit in participating member depots. In January, we also launched our Margin Maker promotional campaign, which offered 40‑60% profit on return on own-brand lines. The campaign encouraged our retailers to consolidate their own-brand ranges to one supplier. 

    What new tools have you introduced to support members and their customers?

    We’ve made it possible for our members to access their commercial data and over-rider earnings information in real time. This allows our members to make better decisions that will benefit their business. We’ve updated our Plan for Profit Guide for retailers and also launched an events app to keep members up to date with forums and conferences.

    How do you plan to develop your service over the next six months?

    We will continue to partner with wholesalers that share our values and are committed, ambitious and forward thinking. We will continue to invest in the development of strong own-label ranges and develop our on-trade and foodservice businesses.

    What development opportunities are there for wholesalers?

    They can: develop the breadth and depth of range; consider additional services; and improve service levels and technological capabilities to retail customers. Cash & carries can consider a delivered operation or look at developing quicker response times to online ordering. 

    What advice do you have for wholesalers looking to improve business management?

    Build strong, long-term business relationships with your customers, rather than transactional ones.


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