Robust wholesalers lead the way against adversity

Almost two thirds of wholesale businesses feel the recession has made their operation more efficient, according to new research conducted by Barclays, while more than a third claim the downturn has created other positives such as creating a greater focus on servicing their customers.

More than four out of 10 wholesale bosses who were quizzed said they had seen working hours increase across their Features > Business, although only 11% reported that they had had to make recession-related redundancies.

One quarter said the tougher trading environment had lead to improvements in their overall business strategy, while 38% said they had been far more vigorous in chasing late payments.

Barclays which questioned wholesalers as part of a nationwide survey of 1,000 businesses operating in key sectors of the economy said it had uncovered an “unexpectedly mixed impact” of the recession on wholesalers.

Asked what they would do with a £100,000 cash injection, 31% of wholesalers said they would move to new premises or expand existing ones, 28% said they would use it to clear debt and 23% claimed they would increase their marketing spend.

Steve Cooper, MD for Barclays Local Features > Business, said: “This helps us understand how wholesale related businesses in the UK are coping with the recession and, clearly, businesses in this sector are finding the upside of adversity wherever they can.”

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