Five things we learned at the IGD’s Wholesaling 2016 conference

Better Wholesaling joined scores of leading wholesalers and suppliers in attendance at this year’s IGD’s Wholesaling 2016 conference in London. Here are five things we learned from this year’s thought-provoking event.

1. The five biggest challenges

The five biggest challenges facing the industry, according to the IGD’s chief economist, James Walton, are retail price deflation, issues surrounding labour, delivering better health outcomes, new channels such as food to go, and Brexit.

2. Same day delivery “is the future”

Stuart Hyslop, who heads up Booker Group’s catering arm and also the small business side of the group, talked delegates through the business’ trial in Norwich of a scheme called Chef Central. The scheme is hyper responsive, delivering products to Booker customers on the day they request them. Hislop said the same day delivery service has the potential to grow the delivered business by 200%, and noted that “same day delivery is the future.”

3. Three issues retailers want wholesalers to improve

A panel of three retailers on stage at the conference spoke about what they need from wholesalers to improve their businesses. As well as being in unanimous agreement that cash and carries need to make checkouts more efficient, Londis retailer Bhadresh Patel urged wholesalers to improve their fresh/chilled offer in light of the incoming sugar tax, and fellow c-store owner Ralph Patel told delegates that wholesaler loyalty schemes are “too complex”. “I wish more wholesalers would deal with you straight and give you the best price,” he said.

4. The 4 components to success

Abra Wholesale director Dee Thaya listed his four components to successfully growing a challenger wholesaler business. They are having the right products at the right time and at the right price; having excellent supplier relationships; employing the right staff; and boasting outstanding customer service.

5. How symbol store efficiencies help wholesalers

Landmark Wholesale boss Martin Williams informed delegates that increased compliance in Landmark-owned Lifestyle stores has added £11m worth of extra sales at wholesale level.


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