Booker axes 200 retail lines from depots in range review

Booker has reduced the average number of retail products at its cash and carries by up to 200 lines following its recent range review.

Asked about the review by our sister website Better Retailing during a presentation about Tesco Booker’s 2023/2024 financial year, the supermarket’s chief executive Ken Murphy said the cuts represented a single digit decline in overall retail range.

He added: “It’s gone down slightly by 100 to 200 lines tops. I want to say it’s a low percentage in the single digits.” Murphy was unable to specify what specific categories had been impacted by the cull.

Booker had previously said it conducted the range review to optimise availability for stores and cut bloated lines. However, several retailers had criticised the wholesaler, claiming availability had reduced significantly at depots.

Read more: Booker to cut ‘bloated’ retail range in depots

Asked by The Guardian how Booker was responding to these criticisms, Murphy said: “The customer satisfaction score for Booker and independent retailers went up 6% to 82% for the year ended. What we’re hearing back from independent retailers is we’re doing a very good job for them. What Booker constantly does is make sure we’ve got the keenest prices, the best availability and the right range.

“There’s always a trade off between those. To the best of our ability, we’re trying to get the balance right in terms having the right choice available for independents at really good prices and making sure they’re always available.”

The results revealed Booker’s retail sales grew by 11% overall, compared to 5.4% growth in like for like sales across the group during the year.

Tesco added the wholesaler had added 211 net new retail partners in the second half of the year. Sales of Jack’s and Euroshopper own labels rose by 16%, driven by expansion of lines across the two ranges.

The statement added: “In November, we repurposed a former Makro freehold store in Fareham, converting the site to a c.120k sq.ft. distribution centre which further centralises fulfilment to our retail customers, offering them a broader range, whilst creating capacity in our branches to grow our catering business. We have plans in place to further enhance our capacity in the current year.

As an experienced journalist and editor for more than a decade, Alex has a proven record of breaking some of the biggest exclusives across the convenience and wholesale industries.


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