A rare insight into the way the Sugro buying group operates was provided by Philip Jenkins, managing director of Sugro UK.
One of Sugro’s main operations is its impulse retail club, which has 865 independent retailer members. Jenkins said: “When I joined Sugro there were actually nearly 1,000 members, but because you have to have a retailer who hasn’t signed up just because he thinks he is going to get a little bit more money for doing nothing we chopped that right back to 450. We cleaned a considerable number out and then we began growing Sugro again, but this time with retailers who understood the strategic message and why they should be members.”
Members receive personalised leaflets and earn rebates for accurate participation in the group’s activities. Jenkins said the group was moving into convenience and described it as a very exciting opportunity.
Sugro also operates an online business from 31 of its depots. Jenkins said this was mainly impulse, but again was expanding into convenience adding grocery and BWS, and he said he believed that it would grow quite rapidly.
He added: “Because we are a delivered wholesale supply chain we have got an extremely successful contracts division. Millions and millions of cases are going through the network centrally run through the Nantwich head office.
“Twenty one depots are currently linked, but there is no limit to the number of depots we can link up depending on the client we are delivering on behalf of, where the job is, and whether the depot is suitable or not.”