Welcome to the first Wholesale Manager issue of 2021. Let’s hope this year will be more positive than the last. With Covid-19 vaccines now being rolled out, there could be light at the end of the tunnel. The first big news of the year, reported in our news pages, is Bestway’s acquisition of Costcutter Supermarkets Group from Bibby Line Group. The approximately 1,500 stores branded under Costcutter, Mace, Supershop and Simply Fresh, join Bestway Wholesale’s retail estate including Bargain Booze, Best-One, Wine Rack, Select Convenience and Central Convenience. This acquisition continues the incredible growth of Bestway, from its establishment in 1976 to now having an annual turnover of almost £3 billion with over 3,795 stores. We congratulate Bestway for its ambition and foresight.


Several firms have reported an increased commitment to sustainability. JW Filshill, the Glasgow-based food and drink wholesaler, has invested in the region of £600,000 in five bespoke vehicles – three 18-tonne and two 26-tonne lorries – as it strives to reduce its carbon footprint. More fuel-efficient than older trucks, these additions to the fleet meet the latest Euro 6 specifications. Brakes, the UK’s leading foodservice supplier, has announced the completion of its pledge to remove all hard-to-recycle black plastic from its own brand range by the end of 2020. Simtom Food Products is also removing black plastic from its Chef’s Speciality range. Weetabix Food Company has reduced its plastic use by 6 percent in the last year, with 92 percent of its packaging now fully recyclable.

Two buying groups have reported continued expansion. Sugro UK, the leading member-owned buying and marketing group with a total turnover of over £1.4bn, has welcomed its newest members, Hardy Brothers and Cyprofood Ltd to the Sugro family. Confex Buying Group has confirmed two new members, Holland Bazaar and Randalls, making them the 14th and 15th members to be welcomed in the last year and bolstering the group’s turnover by £600m in 2020.

Woods Foodservice, the London-based foodservice wholesaler, has received CarbonNeutral certification following a long-standing commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its business. In an interview on our Focus on Foodservice page, Darren Labbett, Managing Director for Woods Foodservice, tells Wholesale Manager how the company gained the certification and how he took over the running of the company from his father and grandfather.

Swan, from Republic Technologies, is the number one filter tip brand, with variants ranging from the best-selling Extra Slim to the market’s slimmest filter, Ultra Slim. On our Partners for Profit page, Nathan Adams, National Account Manager at Republic Technologies, talks about the company’s latest launches and how Republic works with wholesalers to grow their business.

Imperial Tobacco is the UK’s largest tobacco manufacturer, with a product portfolio including Lambert & Butler, JPS, Players and Golden Virginia. David Robins, Head of Marketing at Imperial Tobacco, tells our Supplier Spotlight page about the launch of Embassy Signature, a new range of factory made cigarettes offering premium features but without the premium price.

Enjoy reading the issue.

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