Hancocks Group, which owns Hancocks Cash amp; Carry, has exceeded £100m annual turnover for the first time. A year-on-year sales rise of 7.5% for 2011 took turnover to £100,738,000, with active customer numbers increasing by 8%.
The 18 cash and carries specialising in confectionery account for the vast majority of the group’s turnover and managing director Mark Watson said: “2011 has not been an easy trading year by any means. Our total focus and clear determination to develop the confectionery market for our customers has paid off. More and more independent retailers are seeing the benefit of shopping at a specialist confectionery cash and carry – our range is quite simply bigger and more creative than other wholesalers.
“We’ve put a great deal of effort into further developing own label confectionery and exclusive ranges during the last 12 months and this has really helped our customers to boost not only their sales but their overall margins too.”
He said the Christmas trading period demonstrated the importance of developing own label confectionery as sales were up 10% year-on-year, and he attributed the majority of this to own label growth as opposed to brands.
He added: “Many brands are simply not giving our customers the opportunity to make a decent margin and as retailers’ costs rise, this is more important than ever. Own label products can provide better value for shoppers and a bigger margin for retailers.”
Looking at the year ahead, he said: “Confectionery is one of those categories that when exploited, can really help the sustainability of smaller retailers in difficult times. We intend to develop our specialist cash and carry activities in addition to expanding the newly launched e-commerce arm of our Features > Business, which can reach businesses in every corner of the UK.”