Daryl Worthington finds out the needs of Nisa Stilton store owner Sudakaran Selvaraj
Which wholesalers do you use?
I’d say 90% of our products come from our symbol group, Nisa, and we use Booker for about 1%. This is because we don’t want the hassle of going to collect stock from a depot.
We use a selection of local suppliers for the remaining 9%. We use these for things like fresh meat.
What is the attraction of using local suppliers for you?
Our customers want local products, and we want to be seen to be stocking them as well. This is really beneficial for our business as it attracts footfall.
When they come to buy local products, they’re not just buying the items from local companies, they’re also buying other things as well.
Certain local bakers are really well known among our community, so stocking their products drives footfall.
However, because local suppliers are small businesses, they can sometimes be a challenge.
Do you order online, or visit cash and carries?
We order online, mostly. But we also have a member of staff who checks the prices at different wholesalers. They’ll go to the Booker depot, for instance, or Hyperama to compare the prices. In particular, they are looking for pallet deals, as these are important to our business.
Why do you do most of your ordering online?
It’s simply a matter of convenience – ordering online saves us a lot of time.
What could be done to make the online ordering experience easier for you?
Electronic delivery notes for every online order would be better, because we want to keep our stock lines up to date.
I think it would be great if all wholesalers had systems that communicated with ours, rather than being standalone.
At the moment, we only get electronic delivery notes from Nisa. It would be better if we could connect to the other wholesalers as well.
This would mean we would not have to update our stock lines manually.
What sort of offers and promotions stand out and catch your eye at wholesalers?
As an operations manager for multiple stores in the TYS Retail company, pallet deals are really important.
We can buy certain things in pallets, and then distribute them among the six stores. We don’t do this for fresh and chilled, but we do it for other categories, such as alcohol.
What are the big food and drinks trends you expect to see in the coming year?
There’ll be more vegan and vegetarian, and other free-from. I think those categories will become more important.
Is it easy to get free-from lines for your Nisa Stilton store?
We’ve found that Nisa has a big free-from and vegetarian range, and they’re improving. However, Booker’s is not so comprehensive.
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