Which wholesalers do you use and why do you use them?
We usually order from Bestway and Booker. It’s very easy to do; I order deliveries online, which is very convenient.
I can look at the website and decide what I need and it requires much less time than going to the cash and carry.
Do you always get your orders online?
I only go to cash and carries if I am out of certain things or if there’s a particular item that a customer asks me for that I don’t have. In that case, I’ll tell them I’ll have it in store the next day and go out of my way to pick it up from the cash and carry.
For example, a customer recently asked for a particular wine they wanted, so I specially went to get it from Bestway.
How can wholesalers improve the online ordering experience?
My deliveries usually work really well. They rarely make mistakes and I don’t have many complaints. The main issue for a rural store like mine is that the products they send really need to be in good date.
For example, sometimes they’ll send crisps that are only a couple of months in date or even less, which isn’t really enough for us. Crisps need to be at least three to four months in date.
What in-depot activity is likely to capture your attention and get you to purchase promotional items?
I normally rely on deliveries, which has the advantage that I can easily check prices online.
To get the best prices from cash and carries I’d have to compare everyone around here to see which one offers the best prices. Normally that’s what I do. In particular, I’m looking for items that are on promotion.
The superstores have so many good promotions and if we want to survive, we need to be able to offer those, too, so if a cash and a carry can provide good promotions, that makes all the difference.
How do you rate the wholesale sector when it comes to responding to trends?
Our wholesalers do help guide us on trends. I don’t normally go to the cash and carry, but one week I did and they were promoting protein products, including small bags of nuts. I decided to try them in my store and they worked well.
What food trends do you predict will grow this year?
Food to go is the future. People want to be able to grab a sandwich or a meal deal when they’re in a hurry, especially from the chiller.
We offer some more unusual options, like takeaway curries on Fridays. It’s one of the most important parts of the store.