The wholesale industry will have to react quickly to the changing needs of consumers who are increasingly becoming “mission-driven” when they shop locally, according to Martyn Ward, managing director at Palmer and Harvey.
The boss of the UK’s biggest delivered wholesaler told the IGD Wholesaling conference last week (September 6) that the boundary between convenience retailing and food service was becoming ‘increasingly cloudy’.
Consumers were demanding ‘different things at different times of the day’ when they went shopping locally, said Ward.
“All our retailers are going to need greater convenience from wholesalers,” he said. “If it is complicated and difficult, they will vote with their feet and go somewhere else. Things will change and will change quickly.”
Ward predicted that by 2020 the delivered wholesale sector would be bigger than the cash and carry trade for the first time. The IGD forecasts the wholesale grocery sector will be worth £31.3bn by 2021, with delivered wholesale growing by 0.5%, compared to a 0.1% rise in cash and carries.
Look out for more from the IGD Wholesaling Conference in the September issue of Wholesale News – out this week!