Today’s Extra and Lifestyle Express retailers have been given more opportunity to improve their chilled ranges as a result of the Unitas Wholesale merger. 

Unitas formed in November following the merger of Today’s Group and Landmark Wholesale.

The new business uses the collective buying power of its 800 wholesale members to negotiate better prices with suppliers for its 1,200 retailers. 

Prior to the merger, Today’s Group held a chilled contract with Nisa, while Landmark had a similar agreement with wholesaler Eden Farm. 

Unitas retail director John Kinney told RN the group’s smaller retailers are now able to access chilled delivery requirements more suited to their business model. 

“We’re creating a strategic relationship with Eden Farms to help retailers with smaller stores, which are about 75% of our estate, and that’s key,” he said. “There’s also the relationship with Nisa from Today’s Group. Some of our members might not have had relationship with certain suppliers or the facilities for minimum drops. Nisa provides a good entry level for these retailers.

“If retailers are starting to go into certain categories, they can bring those products through with Nisa, build their sales base, and use this to increase the likelihood of trading with
other suppliers.”

The relationships with Nisa and Eden Farms is also allowing Unitas to create more consistent promotions for its retailers, according to Kinney. 

“The relationships with Nisa and Eden Farm will allow us to create better promotional material because we know where our retailers are buying their products from,” he said. 

“Before, we couldn’t do this because we didn’t know where retailers were getting the products from, but now we can do more link deals and developing the chilled offer for retailers this way is important.”

More recent news: Crime-fighting MP vows to support independent retailers