Support needed for FWD and initiatives

A cash and carry must deliver a quality service, offer great value, drive innovation, provide differentiation and provide the right merchandise, according to Steve Barnett, trading director of Costco.

Looking to the future, Barnett said that in order for the independent sector to build its share of the UK food market, three things were needed: “Tangible support for FWD and industry initiatives, an end to predatory pricing and the ability to ship merchandise within a global company.”

He also highlighted the importance of suppliers in the chain, saying there needed to be shared objectives, creative solutions, industry exclusive merchandise and competitive and profitable agreements.

Barnett reminded delegates of the opposition Costco faced from the multiples when it first appeared in the UK in 1993, with the multiples threatening suppliers with sanctions if they supported Costco. He said the company was still going strong, with 19 warehouses and a further two by the end of the year.

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