In the Unitas Wholesale management team’s first public appearance since the company started trading on November 1st, Unitas MD Darren Goldney told a packed suppliers’ meeting in London that the new group’s mission is to be “the champion of independent wholesalers and the champion of brands, and their first choice business partner.”
Born out of a merger between Today’s and Landmark, Unitas Wholesale is the UK’s largest wholesale services company, supporting around 179 independent wholesalers, who in turn support thousands of independent retailers and small businesses. Darren Goldney told the meeting:
“Unitas has the vision, strategy and tactics to become the first choice business partner for suppliers. With a cultural shift towards both selling and buying capability, its journey is now anchored in enhanced efficiency and effectiveness.”
Unitas Wholesale differs from the recent supermarket entrants to the wholesale sector by being the champion of independents and brands. Darren explained:
“Unlike the emerging trend of multiple retailers whose model is to compete with smaller independent businesses and now also control supply to them, the Unitas Wholesale membership has a core purpose in support of independents.
“Within this model, brands represent more than 99% of the product footprint, so Unitas Wholesale represents an exciting opportunity for suppliers, independent wholesalers and the thousands of independent businesses it collectively serves.
“Unitas Wholesale’s aim is to be a highly valued partner, with the best people in the business, providing a return on investment for suppliers that enables and justifies a sustainable fair margin for members.”
Darren Goldney said combining the two groups had resulted in a number of efficiency improvements including fewer offices and points of contact, less admin and fewer invoices, and a new benchmark service trending tool for suppliers. There was also an expanded range of costreduction services negotiated centrally, such as fuel, banking and utilities. Business-wide initiatives include a supplier optimum distribution tool.
Retail initiatives include the expansion of the Plan for Profit scheme to roll out through depot and digital footprint. Foodservice activities include the launch of the Chef app and digital platform, product activation campaigns, and in the on-trade expansion of the group’s data utilisation and insight capability.