Sony Bihal, managing director at Time Cash & Carry has a different approach to wholesaling. He keeps his range tight, prices low and literally spells out margin for his retail customers.
“We clearly list margin on the shelf-labels of all our products, so that retailers don’t have to walk around with calculators. We even print it out on their receipts and invoices.” And his focus on stocking best-sellers has helped the Barking-based businesses to hit £40,000 million last year, which isn’t bad for a 28,000ft2 depot.
So what’s his secret? It’s a simple business model, says Sony. “We align all our prices with the four major supermarkets on mysupermarket.com – retailers don’t realise that they have the opportunity to compete.”
Promotions are everything
Although the business is a member of the Landmark buying group, Sony has chosen to set up his own retail club, Time-Xpress, which has its own unique approach to promotions. “We don’t follow any mechanic for deals. We come up with our own by talking to suppliers.” Some of his most popular promotions include the £9.99 ‘movie deal’, the £1 ‘snacks deal’ and the 50p ‘kid’s deal’. “We are addressing the three main types of customers that our retailers are likely to deal with.”
Sony also offers an on-trade club for his catering customers which uses a similar strategy and price-matches the latest deals with JD Weatherspoons. With some deals offering as much as 200% margin, there’s no surprise that the clubs are the driving force of this business. Competitive deals, argues Sony, are the key to helping independents to survive. “There would be less pubs closing down if they could offer more promotions.”
Image: Time Cash & Carry clearly lists POR on shelf-labels to make life easier for retailers
Read our full Wholesaler Spotlight with Time Cash & Carry, coming soon