Welcome to the July-August edition of Wholesale Manager. We hope you’ve all managed to have a break over the last few weeks and get set up for the autumn. Summer is passing, but thankfully not as quickly as the Australian batsmen in the Ashes – all out for 60 in their first session as we were writing this, but anything could happen between now and press time…
In our features in this edition we cover Vaping and Back To School, two major business areas right now for wholesalers and their retail customers. And don’t miss our preview of the Speciality & Fine Food Fair. We’ll be at the show, on stand 3440. Stop by and say hello!
We also look in these pages at the latest news from the industry, including the Sunday Trading announcement, the him! Wholesale Awards and the relaunch of Blakemore Wholesale’s Lifestyle Express package. Plus we have our regular update on the recent product news from suppliers, including grocery and the warehouse.
Just a few years into its development, vaping is not just a minority taste for enthusiasts here in the UK, but firmly established in the mainstream as a worldwide phenomenon. As the market grows, product regulations are on the way that will ensure consistent quality for consumers and spell good news for wholesalers and retailers wanting to get in on the action. At the same time, vaping is coming under similar public scrutiny to smoking, and the debate has only just started.
As conventional smoking declines in popularity, Imperial Tobacco and other players from Big Tobacco are making inroads, buying up vaping companies or bringing out their own vaping products or both, as they recognise the opportunities vaping offers to their businesses. The end result is that consumers now expect premium vaping, with the focus on product quality.
As every parent of school age kids knows, the new school year starts in early September. The end of the long summer holidays is bad news for school kids but a happy moment for independent retailers and wholesalers. It’s the welcome return to a steady stream of school-related purchases all day long, every weekday and Saturdays too, by school kids, parents and teachers too.
The supermarkets and Co-ops have traditionally taken the lion’s share of the Back To School budget for big-ticket items like school clothes and food, but well-placed independent retailers offering the right range of products have continued to do well. And as convenience shopping enjoys a resurge, the independents look set to do even better in this area.
We can expect more changes to come in the regulations about food and drink targeting school age children. Meanwhile, wholesalers and independent retailers need to work closely to maximise their share of the Back To School opportunity. Good selling!