Ten things learned from the HIM Wholesale Forum


The HIM Wholesale Forum took place on 6 July at the Wellcome Collection. 130 wholesalers, retailers and suppliers from the grocery sector were present to hear speakers update them on the current goings on in their businesses and the wholesale sector as a whole.

Speakers included Abigail Brierley, IT director at Bidfood UK; Val Kirillovs, new business and client director at HIM; Louise McWhirter, head of insights & digital at HIM, Angus Maciver, CEO of McCurrach; James Russell, managing director of AF Blakemore, John Baines, trading director at Today’s Group; Ed Sibley, client service director of HIM; and Holly Franklin, new business and client manager at HIM.

The HIM Wholesale Forum
The HIM Wholesale Forum

Here are the top ten take-away points from this year’s forum:

  1. Route to market is changing: in retail 10 years ago, 44% of delivered users waited for their wholesaler to call them, whereas now 87% of retailers make their order online.
  2. In foodservice, 38% of delivered users place their order online.
  3. 65% of retailers say quality is the top factor influencing where retailers source their fresh produce, compared with 78% of foodservice operators who do.
  4. Seven out of ten retailers and foodservice operators believe the quality of ingredients represents quality to them in regards to fresh produce.
  5. 46% of retailers and 59% of foodservice operators consider case price/cost price a key factor when choosing NPD, compared with 40% of retailers and 21% of foodservice operators who consider margin available a key factor when choosing NPD.
  6. Preferred promotional mechanic differs for retailers and foodservice operators, ‘everyday low prices’ are preferred by retailers and ‘buy one get one free’ is preferred by foodservice operators.
  7. Only 22% of retailers actually make an order when they visit the wholesaler’s website; therefore, there is huge opportunity to influence online and boost sales here.
  8. In foodservice, 56% of online delivered users are logging on to wholesaler websites for other reasons other than to just place their orders.
  9. On average, just over a fifth of retailers purchase on impulse in depot.
  10. When investing in technology, the most important thing for retailers is that the technology brings cost savings – only 3% say that ‘enhancing the in-store experience’ is the most important thing.



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