Independent retailers supplied by Unitas mem­ber wholesalers may gain access to Safeway own-label products. 

Wholesale buying group Unitas signed a deal with Morrisons, with 36 ambient lines available from the multiple. 

Wholesalers associated with Unitas include Par­fetts, Filshill, Abra, Dha­mecha, United Whole­sale, United Wholesale Grocers, Time Wholesale, AF Blakemore, Savage & Whitten, SK Cash and Carry, and DeeBee Wholesale. 

It has not been con­firmed which will be stocking the Safeway range, as one told RN they were still “assessing their options”. 

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Some Unitas wholesal­ers already have their own own-label range, and the Safeway products will sit alongside Unitas’ Today’s and Lifestyle own-label products. 

One wholesale boss previously told RN the To­day’s and Lifestyle ranges had gaps in some areas. The partnership represents a departure from Unitas’ strategy of ‘championing’ household brands to chal­lenge the rise of own-label. 

The company’s former managing director said in late 2019 there were “no plans” to expand its own-label offering. 

The Safeway range is also stocked in McColl’s stores and in other inde­pendent shops via direct wholesale supply from the supermarket. 

The deal comes as Morrisons’ preliminary results for the year ending 31 January 2021 showed Morrisons’ wholesale sales rise from 0.6% to 0.8% of its total like-for-like sales.