EXCLUSIVE: Today’s looks to develop pub business on “symbol group” model

Today’s Group is exploring the possibility of launching a “symbol group” pub chain, MD Bill Laird has revealed to Wholesale News.

Speaking exclusively at the Group’s Annual Exhibition at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, he said talks were currently at “very early stages”, but more concrete plans to replicate the cohesive, symbol group retail model across a chain of independently-owned pubs could be ready as soon as next year.

The news follows the Today’s Group unveiling another four new on-trade wholesale members, bringing the total number under the Today’s On-Trade division to 19. The growing On-Trade division follows the break-up of the former National Drinks Distribution (NDD) group which saw the majority of its 23 members become Today’s Group wholesalers.

Laird said the priority was to settle the new members into the business before taking any next steps. “We have had conversations with our wholesale members,” he said, adding: “The pub market has evolved massively in the last few years…This won’t happen overnight but those who want to be in pubs for the long term are changing their business models.”

He added that already Today’s Group was planning to roll out an on-trade club, similar to the Group’s retail club, which would bring an extra measure of professionalism to NPD launches and promotions across pub customers.

For the full interview with Bill Laird don’t miss your April issue of Wholesale News – out this week.

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