Its acquisition of a large part of the Unwin’s estate makes it an even stronger competitor to many independent retailers. All the more reason why our retailers should make the most of the ongoing deals we provide – which help to lessen the impact of outrageous multiple activities.

Budweiser and Carlsberg are really going to town with their World Cup activities. Their strong promotional activity embracing wholesalers, retailers and consumers will undoubtedly be challenged by all the other brewers but don’t we owe it to Anheuser Busch and Carlsberg to major on their brands and make the most of their substantial investments which really benefits our sector?

Seldom a day passes by without us discussing the massive opportunity catering represents. Fresh, chilled, frozen, ambient, drink and non foods – we are close to offering a complete one-stop operation to caterers at prices well below foodservice operators, yet this message is not reaching many potential customers. A publican friend tells me he often buys from a major multiple – for sheer convenience. Another uses a European discounter for most of his wine requirements – having carefully checked the quality first. We urgently need to attract more caterers – and make them feel welcome and special when they call in.

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