Parfetts has increased its symbol-group support amid plans to challenge major rivals by offering wider banking, business and licensing services to retailers.

Since 2018, the company has embarked on a strategy to remove associations of the business as a standalone cash and carry operator. The company, which operates the Go Local, Go Local Extra and The Local fascias, has launched a series of retailer workshops to help it achieve this.

The sessions give symbol group retailers an opportunity to provide feedback on the wholesaler’s plans.

Parfetts head of retail Steve Moore told betterRetailing: “Communication is a two-way street and the listening sessions enable us to communicate better with retailers.

“For example, we ask what kind of price points they want from a bag of sweets. We listen to them and implement based on the feedback.

Parfetts to target national growth

“We’re also looking at giving retailers the option to get outsourced human resources, workshops on the latest developments in alcohol licensing, banking and credit card services, and options for utilities.

“Independent retailers know how to run their shops. It’s about giving them support in other areas they might not have as much knowledge of.

“We also recently launched joint business plans, where we plan to sit down with a retailer every three months to discuss how they want to move forward. This is what came out of the listening sessions.

“It turns us into a business partner, rather than just a cash and carry where they can get stock from.”

Major rival Booker also offers similar services, such as banking deals, to its symbol stores.

Parfetts operates fewer than 1,000 symbol group sites, with Moore attributing recent growth to retailer dissatisfaction among rival fascias.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Record number’ of retailers joining Parfetts symbol group

According to Moore, a number of major retailers from rival symbol groups are set to convert to Go Local in the Midlands, an area of major expansion for the company.

“The recruitment rate was a bit slower at Christmas as retailers wanted to get their heads down, but this has picked up again. Six Bargain Booze stores from the Reynolds Group are set to convert to Go Local Extra,” he said.

“Our store development is around insights into customer habits rather than follow a shopfitting blueprint. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. The key for us is respecting the independence of retailers and working with them.”

Commenting on further growth, Parfetts trading director Gurms Athwal said: “We could look at expanding our delivery routes or opening a new depot. There are expansion plans for us if there are the right opportunities.”

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