Fast-growing wholesaler Parfetts has made a strategic investment in Manchester digital agency Pixel. The investment will help the two companies to build new technology for convenience retailers and shoppers.

The Stockport-headquartered wholesaler supports over 1,000 retailers within its Go Local fascia group and operates seven depots across the UK. It has collaborated with Built by Pixel on the evolution of its own digital platforms for over a decade and has seen online orders grow to 40% of its turnover.

The deal sees Parfetts take a 25% stake in the digital agency for an undisclosed sum. It will enable the development of new mobile and online platforms.

Commenting on the move, Guy Swindell, joint managing director of Parfetts, said: “Pixel is a long-standing and trusted partner for Parfetts. We’ve made a strategic investment to help us accelerate our plans and develop new technology that will raise the bar for retailers and shoppers alike. Working together, we are confident we can lead the industry in this area.”

Pixel is a Manchester-based digital studio that specialises in the design, development, and architecture of custom-made online applications. The team of 15 works with clients from start-ups to multi-national brands.

Ben Price, managing director of Pixel, said: “It’s great that a client relationship has evolved over time, and Parfetts has the confidence to invest in our business to help drive digital transformation in the wholesale and convenience sector. We have big plans for the partnership and look forward to sharing more over the coming months.”

Parfetts have further invested in its digital offering by expanding the existing digital marketing team. Mel Bruton has joined as digital marketing manager and comes with over eight years of experience across a number of corporate and retail roles.

Mel will work closely with Pixel, the Parfetts marketing and IT teams to ensure the wholesaler’s digital offering is best in class, delivering the same experience that customers enjoy in the cash & carry environment.

Guy Swindell said:  “Mel brings a wealth of experience to her new role. Over 40% of our sales are now generated online so it is an important channel for us. But it isn’t all about online ordering, we want to continue to develop our digital channels to drive customers to our retailers’ stores. We are  developing new services that will open up new sales channels and opportunities for our customers.”

Parfetts and Pixel worked together to develop the wholesaler’s online ordering platform. It created a simple and easy-to-use experience for Parfetts retailers and provides a personalised shopping process to ensure orders can be processed efficiently. The systems are regularly updated with new features, and the API platform is already powering additional projects.

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