John Baines, senior trading controller of Today’s Group, quoted Oscar Wilde, saying: “‘A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing’ and how true that is when you apply it to the average customer.”
Baines said there was a need to increase margins because wholesalers struggle to break-even compared to both the suppliers and the retailers.
He said: “I firmly believe that the way forward – particularly for non-aligned independent retailers – has to be price-marking throughout the entire supply chain. Price discipline works well for symbol retailers – I believe that it’s time to extend that price discipline to the many non-aligned retailers. I’m talking about permanent price-marking on key SKUs not just on the item – but also on the case.”
He added that it would provide an opportunity for the supplier to reduce the number of SKUs, which can cost a fortune in terms of inventory and logistics.
He said: “Research consistently suggests that price is not the number one priority in choosing where to shop – we recently saw the HIM surveys which, once again, reinforced that message. So that’s why I believe that price-marking across the board, in the wholesale sector, would create a similar kind of price stability to that seen in the multiples.”