Welcome to the September- October Wholesale Manager, the bimonthly publication for wholesalers serving the independent retail, catering and foodservice sectors. The autumn mists are swirling. The wholesale industry is changing too, and it’s hard to tell what’s going on. Who will be left standing when the mist clears?


Meanwhile business must go on. As the nights draw in, the Big Night In, theme of our feature in this issue, continues to be a major traffic builder and business booster in neighbourhood convenience stores. Which is great news for cash ’n’ carries and delivered wholesalers who serve these outlets. The Big Night In first became a ‘thing’ in retail in the video era, with video rental outlets offering a host of treats to drum up secondary spend in store. It’s still with us today in the Netflix age, and as we try to be healthier, soft drinks and waters from Radnor Hills, whose Fruella juice brand features on our front cover, are increasingly important.

Bestway’s written evidence to the CMA’s ongoing Tesco/Booker inquest makes gloomy reading. The gist is that if Tesco moves its business from Palmer & Harvey to Booker, even a small reduction in volume will mean P&H can no longer compete. If it disappears, perish the thought, it wouldn’t be the end of wholesale altogether, but it would be a very sad day all round. Meanwhile the leading operators get on with business as usual.

A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd raised over £82,000 for good causes by hosting a company-wide Charity Birthday Party marking its centenary, with colleagues taking part in 300 celebratory events at stores and depots in England and Wales. Looking to the future, Blakemore Group HR Director Ian Diment will reveal the wholesaler’s Equality and Diversity strategy at the Women in Wholesale conference on October 19th, supporting women’s progress in this still largely male-run sector.

Brakes’ commitment to leading the foodservice industry in corporate social responsibility has received a new endorsement, having passed the ISO 14001 environmental audit. Brakes’ accreditation is its most significant environmental milestone since it was first accredited in 2008. On the technology side JJ Food Service is the first national UK wholesaler to introduce fingerprint ID and a card scanning function to its App to make online shopping easier for customers.

In our other features, as we hit the final quarter of 2017, we look at Christmas and Winter Remedies. Christmas is by far the biggest footfall driver of the year for convenience retailers, and a massive opportunity for wholesalers who supply them to boost sales and profits. Consumers are hard pressed these days, but festive retail sales are still holding up well.

As our Winter Remedies feature reminds us, we all need to stay fit and well at this time of year. In the colder months it’s time to keep healthy with vitamin and mineral supplements and self-medicate with OTC analgesics and cold and flu remedies, which incidentally are also strong sellers and profit builders for wholesalers. Have a healthy and profitable autumn.

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