Wholesale “a great route to market”

Renewed interest in local shopping and a summer of “community occasions” represent a huge incentive for suppliers to invest in the wholesale channel, according to the Federation of Wholesale Distributors.

The FWD’s conference on July 12 will explore how suppliers can link to thousands of independent retailers and caterers through delivered wholesale and cash and carry, and how this relay team can deliver value to the consumer through co-operation and efficiency of distribution.

FWD chief executive James Bielby said: “There is a lot of optimism in the wholesale sector at the moment and our members are investing for the future. Many FMCG suppliers have overlooked the channel and the small, local businesses supplied by FWD wholesalers in favour of national supermarket chains.”

“Now, with the multiples enviously eyeing the smaller format retailers and their close relationships with their neighbourhoods, there is a strong sense that the balance is shifting. I hope that our event will demonstrate that this is a dynamic, adaptable and efficient route to market which will reward greater investment from the suppliers.”

The conference event, entitled Teamwork in Distribution, includes examples of joint working which have delivered results for both the manufacturer and the wholesaler. It also sees the unveiling of the HIM wholesale Tracking Programme, which collates opinions on the sector from thousands of retail and foodservice businesses. The day climaxes with the presentation over dinner of the HIM wholesale awards, which recognise the highest-achieving distributors as chosen by their customers.

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