Sterling Supergroup has announced that it will end its associate membership of Landmark Wholesale at the end of February.
Vanessa Cooper, chief executive of Sterling Supergroup, told Wholesale News that the Sterling board had decided that it was the right time for the group to become totally independent.
She added: “When Sterling Supergroup became an associate member of Landmark in the 1990s we were cash and carry oriented. Our business interests have changed significantly and our requirement in terms of support from branded suppliers is very different now. We intend to work closely with suppliers to ensure that we offer the best product ranges and promotions for our wholesalers and their customers.
“We have enjoyed a good working relationship with Landmark and thank them for their past efforts on our behalf.”
Sterling has 44 members with an annual turnover from wholesaling of more than £400m. Landmark managing director Martin Williams said that as Sterling was an associate member, its turnover was not included in Landmark’s group turnover of £2.7bn. He added: “We have enjoyed the partnership and wish them well in the future.”
Brian Jones, chairman of Castell Howell Foods and the Sterling Supergroup, said: “We have been considering our position for some time. Sterling Supergroup has an extremely pro-active and successful membership and we have ambitious plans to move the business forward. We feel that we will be able to do this more successfully as an independent group.”
The group will be looking to develop its Sterling Caterers Essentials brand, which was launched in 2009 and achieved a turnover of more than £21.5m in 2011.
Mark Felton, managing director of Caterfood South West and deputy chairman of Sterling, said: “We have built a phenomenally successful own brand. Our customers demand the Sterling label now and it is in our interests to have exclusive products.”