Booker will tap into Tesco’s systems, support and range advice to help independent retailers, chief executive Charles Wilson has told RN.
In an exclusive interview after completing three stops on the wholesaler’s national roadshow, Mr Wilson said a key message has been that it is committed to using the deal to strengthen Premier, Family Shopper, Budgens and Londis.
“Booker has got real wholesaler expertise, which we want to preserve and grow. Tesco has retail expertise and bringing some of the benefits across to all independents is something that will help them,” he said.
Referring to last week’s RN Store Lookbook, Mr Wilson said One Stop retailer Danny Wilson made a “very good case” for the benefits Tesco can bring.
“On the front page of last week’s RN, Danny shared how some of the systems, support and range advice have been helpful. We can take some of that from Tesco to help our retailers,” he said.
Some of the benefits cited by Danny Wilson included orders being automatically generated, management accounts being prepared including VAT, sales and purchasing, and mission-based promotions.
"Tesco has retail expertise and bringing some of the benefits across to all independents is something that will help them"
He added some of One Stop’s systems have helped improve efficiencies and reduce staff costs.
Linda Sood, of Premier Falcon News in Portsmouth, told RN she would be interested in finding out what systems could be introduced, but is worried about data being shared with Tesco.
Charles Wilson said Booker is also working on its food to go offer, which could be further strengthened by the merger.
“We are doing a lot of work on how we help all retailers with food to go and RN readers will see the fruits of that in the next three to six months,” he said. “There will be interesting opportunities, working with Tesco, for example, on coffee machine contracts. If you’ve got scale you can get a much better deal.”
What it means for your group
Martyn Parkinson – Premier brand director
“Being able to use the scale of the fresh and chilled offer in Tesco to improve the offer and distribution in Premier.”
Rob Butler – head of Family Shopper
“It will make their business stronger, and fundamentally ensures we will prosper and continue to develop in all aspects.”
Martin Swadling – Londis brand director
“By delivering improved choice, price and service for our customers we will ensure they are able to thrive now and in the future.”
Mike Baker – Budgens brand director
“Through lower wholesale prices and access to better banking rates the proposed merger will allow Budgens retailers to offset the increased costs of running their business.”