Better Wholesaling: What is Landmark’s USP?
John Mills: Landmark’s objective is to provide the best possible value and service it can to its members. We stand out from the competition for a variety of reasons, not least our own-brand ranges for retail and catering, which are worth more than £50m in sales. In addition to the success of the retail side of our business, our focus on foodservice in the past four years means it now accounts for half the group’s turnover.
What has been Landmark’s most significant achievement over the past 12 months?
For our retail customers, we have relaunched our national promotion programme and Lifestyle Retailer, our retailer magazine, to ensure we continue to best reflect members’ needs. We have also rolled out more than 100 new foodservice stock-keeping units and attracted two new foodservice members.
In addition, there has been the continuing success and expansion of our Caterer Connections Club event, resulting in more connections between members and suppliers than ever before.
How has Landmark expanded and attracted new members over the past 12 months?
Our two newest members are both foodservice businesses: Plassey Food & Distribution Company in Limerick is our first Irish member, and Fairway Foodservice is one of the UK’s largest foodservice buying groups and joins Landmark as an associate member (akin to Country Range Group and Confex). Buying groups are having to join forces to counter the consolidation in the market and to ensure they deliver competitive terms for their members.
How has Landmark developed members’ businesses?
Our continuing focus is providing a competitive terms package for our members and giving them access to our central office services, such as IT support, own-brand ranges and groundbreaking marketing and promotional programmes.
What category support does Landmark provide its members?
Last year, we reorganised our buying team by category, combining brands and own-brands. This has been welcomed by our suppliers as it enables them to discuss key trends and performance, by both category and sub-category, and identify gaps and opportunities.
Landmark provides retailers with an industry-leading planogram and our Retailer Best Sellers guide to support them to stock the proven bestselling products; for catering customers, we produce the Caterers Essentials guide. Our guides use fresh supplier data and our own sales insight to identify the products that will increase our members’ customers’ profitability.
What are Landmark’s plans to help its members over the next 12 months?
Throughout 2018 and beyond, we will continue to support our members and their customers with stronger promotions and by developing our own-brand ranges.
What is the biggest challenge Landmark’s members face over the next 12 months?
Wholesale is an incredibly competitive environment, never more so than now. Buying forces are consolidating and members are being squeezed by unavoidable cost increases such as the National Living Wage, pension auto-enrolment, the Apprenticeship Levy and business rates.
We recognise all these challenges and will be working closely with suppliers to provide the support and services that our members need to thrive. In doing so, this will not only strengthen our offer but also provide our customers with continually-improving range and service.
Number of members
Group buying power
Biggest member (currently)
Plassey Food & Distribution Company