Priyanka Jethwa talks wholesalers’ pros and cons with a retailer.
Store: Woosnam & Davies
Location: Llanidloes, Powys
Store career: Davies took over the store 20 years ago
Customers: 500 a day on average
Which wholesalers do you use?
We are a specialist store, so we have a tremendous range of news and magazines, as well as a huge selection of greeting cards and seasonal stock, such as boxed chocolate.
We use Palmer and Harvey and Booker for tobacco, drinks, confectionery, and household goods, as well as around 20 other smaller companies that supply us with greeting cards and gifts.
How often do you shop with wholesalers?
I visit my nearest Booker, which is an hour away, every week. I use Palmer and Harvey once a month to fill in the gaps of products I cannot find at Booker, seeing as it has a small range.
Do you get your orders by visiting the cash & carry or do you get them delivered?
I am starting to think more about using delivered wholesale as my current journey takes too long – it takes up about half of my day.
How can wholesalers improve the online ordering experience?
Palmer and Harvey’s website is often difficult to navigate, as some products lack images, and so I do not always know if I am ordering the correct product.
How can wholesalers improve the cash & carry experience?
My closest Booker is in Aberystwyth and they could definitely do with more lines as its range is very limited being a smaller depot.
I like to still go to cash & carries, though, as I find it easier to discover new product launches. If you stay insular and stick to ordering online, you might miss out on new trends and products.
What in-depot activity is likely to capture your attention and get you to purchase promotional items?
I would like to see more special offers available, as that is what captures my attention. More tastings would be helpful, too, so we can decide if we want to stock a new line.
In what categories would you like to see wholesalers improve?
Confectionery, for sure. I would like to see a wider range in Booker, as well as more marketing and point-of-sale material available to us – this is something we miss out on and I end up having to do my own marketing because I can never get hold of anything.
How would you rate wholesalers when it comes to responding to trends?
It is always up to us to find trends, rather than our wholesalers informing us. I cannot remember the last time I had a Palmer and Harvey representative come into my store. With Booker, I would also like someone to come see us and advise us on what the key trends are, how best to market promotions and deals, and what being part of a symbol group would do for us as a business.
What is the biggest challenge to your business?
I would say competition from other stores. When we took over just over 20 years ago, there were only two stores selling newspapers, but now there are five. However, we stay confident in providing friendly, local and helpful service to our customers.