Wholesalers should work with suppliers

Wholesalers and suppliers should be working more closely together to ensure wholesalers’ customers have the right products available, according to Trevor West, trading director of Masterfoods. He said: “Currently, 27% of retailers are failing to buy everything they need when they visit their cash and carry. The cost of these lost sales is pound;750m a year.”

The main reason given was that the required products were not available. He said: “Wholesaling has to change. It’s not just about promotions and prices. If you don’t have the right range available, everyone loses out on profit.”

West suggested that the answer is wholesalers and suppliers working together. With wholesalers seeing suppliers as more than a source of revenue and suppliers viewing the wholesale channel more strategically.

West provided an example, suggesting the suppliers’ market and consumer data should be channelled through the wholesaler as they have the retailers trust. Then the wholesaler can deliver against consumer demand while adding his own touches such as customer service and engagement with the local community.

He also asked the question, who is the most important person in a cash and carry? “Your shelf filler knows all the customers. He knows what does and doesn’t sell. He knows which products need more space, which need less or no space. He is your availability manager.

“And with some training from a supplier, he could be selling to your customers, advising them on best sellers, new products and promotions. Who knows what he can do when fully empowered?”

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