Independent retailers and wholesalers can use the “difficult transformation” of the £3.7bn Tesco-Booker merger to stand out in the market.

That was the advice from Today’s Group MD Darren Goldney, who spoke to RN at the company’s annual trade show in Liverpool today. Goldney argued any promises made as part of the merger between Tesco and Booker, which was given final approval this month, would take several years to come into effect.

“You’ve got two businesses of massive scale coming together making promises of increased buying power and improved supply chain,” he said.

“The size of both businesses means the transition won’t be immediate. It’s going to be a difficult transformation which will take a few years, however, because you’re bringing two diverse cultures together.

“It gives more independent businesses an advantage. We can have our guns pointed at Tesco and Booker. We can bridge the gap as a result of the transitional period to look at how we can offer a better service and supply chain.”

Goldney added Today’s had conducted a survey asking independent retailers their supply preferences if price and service were the same regardless of the supplier. More than 73% of those surveyed said they would prefer to purchase from a wider range of independent suppliers rather than a single source.