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Retailers React

Wholesale Turbulence

It is no secret that the Wholesale Market in the UK is experiencing a lot of turbulence. Many recent events show this, the last remaining Blakemore Wholesale cash and carry depots have been closed after a suitable buyer could not be found. The supermarket Tesco and wholesale giant Booker have merged, in a £3.7bn takeover creating a new food-market powerhouse. Reducing wholesale diversity further, the Co-operative has reached an agreement with the Costcutter Supermarkets Group, to become their exclusive wholesale supplier across the 2200 stores from the Spring of 2018. Furthermore, members of Nisa Retail also voted in favour of the Co-op’ offer to buy the delivered wholesale and convenience retail specialist, which has been cleared by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA). The £143m takeover took place in the spring of 2018.

We asked our customers whether they had experienced any impact of this turbulence on their retail businesses. Out of the 111 respondents, 78% said that they have witnessed the effects of this turbulence on their retail business and have provided us with many different examples of the issues that wholesaler turbulence has caused for them.

How has this turbulence impacted your business?

  • 78% Yes
  • 22% No

Retailers said

  • "There is a large shortage of stock at the wholesalers, incurring loss of business for me as a retailer"
  • "Out of stock items aren’t allowing us to fulfil customer needs and inconsistent delivery times are causing customers to go elsewhere."
  • "We have limited choice when it comes to the products we can stock"
  • "We were impacted greatly when our wholesaler had issues with their carrier, impacting our dairy products and chilled/frozen products delivery."
  • "We were forced to change our range after our wholesaler went bust, which caused serious disruption to the business."
  • "We have been forced into finding product alternative: One of our main suppliers is no longer in business. We have even had to replace some of our branded products as we can stock them from elsewhere."
  • "The hot weather has really driven demand for soft drinks, beer and ice cream, which we have unfortunately been unable to source from our wholesale supplier."
Although 78% said that there had been an impact by the wholesale market turbulence, 22% of the customers that we asked said that they hadn’t seen an impact on their business as they have responded accordingly by shopping around and searching for alternatives.
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