Palmer Harvey McLane’s Winerite subsidiary has won a contract to supply alcohol to Mills Group just days after P H’s symbol division announced it had signed up around 60% of the independent Scottish Mace retailers following its acquisition of the Mace name from Somerfield.
The two-year Mills deal represents an annual turnover of £5m, with this figure expected to grow during this period. Mills Group owns 82 stores in the North East and Midlands with a total of 51 licensed stores that will be covered by the contract.
Winerite has been trading with the company since January 1999, but did not have a formal agreement.
Mills Group sales and marketing director David Pickford commented: “Winerite won the contract first and foremost because over the past six years of trading they have provided us with exceptional customer service. “They offer a comprehensive alcohol range and the position they command in the market place means we can tap into their significant buying power.”
In Scotland, P H began delivering to independent Mace stores on July 4, and to the 36 sites owned by Somerfield from July 11.
P H commercial director Peter Austen said: “We are delighted with the number of independent Mace retailers we have signed up to P H Symbol.
“We now have a firm base on which to build the brand to our target of 120 Scottish Mace retailers by this time next year.
“Our key objective was to ensure ownership of the brand in Scotland, to allow us to grow the Mace estate throughout the mainland and give us the potential to develop group business that straddles the border. The fact that we have so far retained 60% of the independent business is extremely encouraging.”
However, 25 stores have joined Spar since Somerfield announced it was closing Mace distributor Aberness Foods and selling the rights to the Mace identity in Scotland to P H.