Parfetts is aiming to become a national symbol group operator through the expansion of its Go Local symbol group outside of its traditional north east heartlands. 

The wholesaler told RN it will have 450 stores by the end of 2018 – a 33% increase from the 336 fascia retailers it had in June. 

To support the expansion, the wholesaler purchased Blakemore’s Middlesbrough depot earlier this year and has increased its delivery vehicles from 20 to 30.

Parfetts head of customer development and marketing Guy Swindell told RN: “We’re now ready to target new business in areas such as Sunderland, Newcastle and Hartlepool. We’re also serving more retailers across Grimsby, Middlesbrough, Hull and Chester. This will provide us with a chance to actively pursue new retailers and expand the Go Local fascia.”

The business now has 10,000 customers. More than 3,000 are members of its Retail Club. Swindell said the majority of its new business this year was a result of answering retailer frustrations with rival wholesalers. “We’ve also moved into areas which had previously been served by just one wholesaler. The wholesaler had used this monopoly to adjust their prices to the disadvantage of retailers,” he said.

Parfetts revealed to RN that it had also put in bids to purchase other former Blakemore warehouses in Walsall and Bangor. “Bestway outbid us for Walsall and we decided against Bangor because we thought we could service the area adequately enough from our Aintree depot. We are open to more acquisitions if we feel the opportunity is right, however,” said Swindell.

Bobby Tahir, from Butterstile Convenience in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, has been with Go Local Extra for more than two years. 

He said: “A few years ago, you wouldn’t have seen many Go Local Extra stores, but now they are cropping up everywhere.” 

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