Booker Group chief executive Charles Wilson’s appointment as Tesco UK & Ireland chief will “provide the boost independent retailers need,” RN has been told.
Mr Wilson, who has led Booker since 2005, will replace current chief executive Matt Davies at the end of April, a month after the wholesaler’s £3.7bn merger with Tesco is expected to be completed.
GlobalData retail senior analyst Molly Johnson-Jones said Mr Wilson will use the power of his new role to the benefit of Booker retailers.
“Charles Wilson has created a positive reputation for increasing Booker’s growth, and for being an expert negotiator,” she said.
“Tesco sees convenience as a way to increase market share and he will use Premier, Budgens and Londis as a way of doing so. He will negotiate better pricing, but will also consider introducing loyalty schemes similar to the Tesco Clubcard to attract further footfall.”
It is also expected Mr Wilson will look towards Tesco’s IT and marketing investment as a way of improving Booker symbol groups.
Mo Razzaq, of Family Shopper in Blantyre, said Mr Wilson’s appointment would be a major benefit to independent convenience. “Issues such as tobacco legislation have eroded our margins, but Charles’ new role will provide the boost independent retailers need,” he said.
Mr Razzaq added that Mr Wilson would use Tesco’s resources to develop growing areas such as chilled, which had been lacking in Premier stores, as well as focus on loyalty.
“Charles knows how important customer loyalty is and he will most likely introduce a scheme across the symbol groups. These schemes work. Shoppers on my store’s loyalty scheme buy twice as much with a basket spend of £15.66.”
Steve Archer, who runs Premier stores in Cheshire and Staffordshire, added: “Charles will continue to look out for us. I’ll be happy if we can access more products, better prices, promotions and IT support.”