Parfetts is investing £100,000 in improving deliveries for retailers from across its eight depots in England.
Speaking at the opening of its eighth cash and carry last week in Birmingham, the wholesaler’s operations director, Andy Whitworth, admitted that certain depots had limitations with regards to deliveries to stores.
He added: “We’ve invested £100,000 in optimising our service. There’s a lot of crossover between different regions. For example, a delivery from Liverpool might be going into Manchester, when we already have a depot in the area.
“There are limitations in facilities at certain depots, and some aren’t designed as well for deliveries. For example, they might not have specific loading docks like Birmingham has, and we have to pack all orders across the loading yard.
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“The optimisation opens up more opportunities for sites and more local deliveries. It frees up space and time so we can do more deliveries in more areas. We’ve still got a lot of potential within the existing estate and Birmingham, and this will be key for growing sales in 2023 and 2024.”
The opening of Birmingham adds to the company’s existing cash and carries in Aintree, Anfield, Halifax, Middlesbrough, Sheffield, Somercotes and Stockport.
Although the company’s joint managing director, Guy Swindell, said the new depot will allow the company to recruit retailers further south of England, he remained conservative about its expansion strategy.
Whitworth added: “We’re consolidating our power in our heartland [north England]. We could look to expand further north or further south, but right now we’re identifying places we really want to cover in the areas where we’re already strong.”
According to Swindell, the company’s recruitment of retailers in and around Birmingham as depot customers and to its Go Local fascia will be undertaken in several phases. As part of its phase-one launch, Parfetts has been identifying potential fascia customers in the region and it has been actively pre-registering customers for the new cash and carry.
Swindell added that its higher staffing levels compared with neighbouring competitors, and “best-in-class customer service” would help the site generate more footfall. The site only operates as a cash and carry, with delivered services to be introduced at a later date as Parfetts is focused on establishing itself in the area first.
He said that in contrast to recent actions from competitors, the firm has no plans to charge for deliveries and the 2% rebate structure for symbol stores will remain untouched.