Booker this month formally unveiled its first joint Booker-Makro depot, in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
The 100,000 sq ft outlet is a redeveloped Makro depot that was originally trading just a short distance away. The lease was due to expire on the Booker outlet, so the group felt it made sense to utilise the larger Makro site for the pilot joint business. The new depot, to the east of Sheffield, sees upwards of 30% of space occupied by Booker and non-food taking around 15% of the square footage.
Speaking at the depot to a gathering of industry journalists, Booker CEO Charles Wilson said the new outlet was a “test site” that would help shape other joint outlets in the coming months.
However, he also stressed that the Booker-Makro Sheffield outlet was very much a depot tailored to its local market and customers and would not be exactly replicated in other branches.
“This is a solution that’s right for Sheffield and every solution will be right for the local market, for instance Belfast will be a different interpretation as will Edinburgh and Enfield.”
While he declined to say which Booker-Makro outlet would open next, he confirmed there were six more on schedule with London and Northern Ireland set to be a focus.
By bringing the two brands together, Wilson said customers from both businesses now had the opportunity to take advantage of the products ranges on offer across both the businesses, pointing out that prior to the Makro acquisition there had been limited cross-over of Booker-Makro customers.
“Just 6% of Makro customers shopped in Booker and 10% of Booker customers shopped in Makro…by bringing the two businesses together we can offer something that others cannot do.”
*For full details and pictures see our October issue – out next week.