Parfetts is confident the uncertainty surrounding the Tesco/Booker and Co-op/Nisa deals can help to persuade retailers to switch to its Go Local fascia as part of its latest growth plans.

The wholesaler – which currently runs 350 Go Locals – has invested an undisclosed six-figure sum into expanding this to 500 shops by the end of the year.

Parfetts head of customer development and marketing, Guy Swindell, told RN: “Retailers are uncertain about whether they’ll maintain their independence as a result of Tesco/Booker and Co-op/Nisa, and we’re confident we can use this to attract them to the Go Local brand.”

Mr Swindell added that Parfetts believes it can offer more to customers, in particular because its depots operate similarly to Apple’s stores.

“Independent retailers can go to designated areas and chat to staff about important issues such as merchandising and legislation. This model sets us apart, helps assure retailers in what is already an uncertain market and can help make the running of their businesses much easier,” he said.

Mr Swindell said the target of 500 stores exceeds original ambitions of 400 set in June last year and is based on the recent success of the brand, driven by performance in fresh and specialist areas such as craft alcohol and vaping. 

“Sales throughout the Go Local fascia have increased year on year by 35% and it now makes up a fifth of our total business,” said Mr Swindell.

“Our expansion will consist of converting existing sites, alongside stores built from the ground up, and we’ll focus on a range of fresh and food to go, alongside craft beer.

“Retailers like Jai and Mandeep Singh in Sheffield, and Ian Handley in Cheshire, are showing how popular these areas are. In the cases of some retailers, food to go and fresh make up more than 30% of their overall sales.”