Brakes to use “more transparent” pricing from November in a bid to boost customer confidence

Foodservice wholesaler Brakes has revealed a new and more transparent pricing strategy, which will go live in November following extensive pilots.

The changes will make its prices more simple, stable and visible and reward its customers for putting more business its way, according to director of pricing Charlie Burton.

The wholesaler will publish prices for all 8,000 of its products online and in a catalogue, with the list updated twice a year in September and March via a central team at Brakes, he said.

Brakes’ prices have not hitherto been published at a national level, and have been finalised locally, with some  variations between prices for similar products in different parts of the country.

Burtin said that the change will allow customers to “shop the range” and compare products before buying.

Customers will get a trade discount of up to 30% (and about 20% on average) on prices, depending on how much they spend at Brakes over the course of a year, he said.

Around 40 best-selling KVIs such as cheddar, bacon and Coke will, Burton said, be kept at an everyday low price available to all customers, with no further discounts on offer.

Some foodservice wholesalers do not publish prices so as to not give competitors an advantage, but Burton said that for Brakes, the upside of the improved customer experience outweighed the “risk” of making prices public.

“This has been a significant decision for us and it took a while to trial and pilot it to ensure that customers’ baskets were rebalanced. No baskets have gone up in price overall, and we have found that publishing list prices means that there has been an upturn in customer spend for customers who have moved onto the system so far.”


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