Buying groups exist to help their members thrive. The combined turnover of all of a group’s members gives that group a buying power far greater than the members would have if they operated individually.

The group offers members improvements from collective purchasing scale, and these clear purchasing benefits are passed on in full to members.

Through the group, members can access suppliers’ products, promotional activity and NPD which helps suppliers consolidate their supply chain.

The group offers access to marketing tools and subject matter experts to assist members with developing their own companies whilst supporting suppliers’ brand activation plans.

Groups often offer a central warehousing and logistics function to centralise purchasing at scale whilst members can access more realistic quantities at great prices.

Many groups provide an open network of information sharing so that members can help each other during both the prosperous times and the more challenging times. Many wholesalers found this process of information sharing to be critical during the various lockdowns and periods of re-opening.

One major benefit of joining a buying group is that all members are shareholders and have a say in the running of the group, either as directors on the board for the stewardship of the group or at AGMs where members discuss performance and direction.

Suppliers also benefit from dealing with buying groups. They get access to multiple channels of trade to activate brand plans with consumers, one point of contact, and compliance to the activation of agreed plans.

Another benefit for wholesalers of joining a group is to access the expertise of that group’s sales teams.

Head office staff at the buying group will have a great amount of knowledge about the industry and will be focused on helping members develop their business.

It is their job to look at the wider wholesale landscape and help their members to adapt and grow.

Members can also enjoy marketing support including use of designers, artwork support and print management.

IT support provided by the buying group can improve rebate management, monitor price rises, manage product information, analyse sales data, improve buying decisions and upgrade members’ e-commerce sites. Buying groups also provide their members with vast own brand ranges across every conceivable product category.

Members can also run branded product promotions in their monthly magazines and online.

Groups follow an annual group promotional schedule each year and brief these out to their supplier partners in plenty of time so that the group aligns with the suppliers’ brand activation plans.

Buying groups often run events such as conferences and awards evenings to connect suppliers with members. These events are an opportunity for members to meet new suppliers and for suppliers to showcase new products.

Most buying groups charge a membership fee. Members are often required to sign up to a collaborative group ethos, with profits shared as a dividend across every member.


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