Dodgy characters on the fringe of the wholesale trade are selling major beer brands direct to retailers at prices well below our best cost and this is having a horrible effect on our overall performance. There is now little or no profit in beer, yet another category destined to failure if government fails stamp out illegal trading soon. The brewers don’t look too happy with the state of affairs either.

Most retailers who operate lottery terminals say customers rarely leave the shop without making other purchases. Lotto’s recent mail shot inviting regular players to go on line and set up standing orders could, if successful, prove very costly for independent retailers.

By taking advantage of booming health trends, M S claims its market share of the UK food market has grown by 0.2%. Promotional concentration on healthy eating has also paid off for Sainsburys. So, what emphasis, if any, are we placing on healthy foods in our retail and catering propositions? Our latest promotional offering is devoid of anything remotely ‘healthy’.

We are legitimately promoting our services to non-core customers during the festive season with a mail shot to local businesses offering them access to the cash and carry to purchase business gifts and catering supplies for office parties and special events. It has already brought in new trade that might otherwise have gone to multiple operators.

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