Parfetts’ response to the coronavirus crisis is winning over retailers from rival symbol groups and wholesalers, according to retail director Guy Swindell.

The senior figure told betterRetailing: “I’m seeing more Premier vans than ever appear in the car park at the cash and carry. We have also had more enquiries from Bestway, Booker, Nisa and Costcutter retailers about joining the Go Local fascia because they’ve heard about the support we’ve provided to our existing retailers during this challenging time.

“There are 4,000 retailers in our retail club who have also asked about joining the symbol group.

“The coronavirus pandemic has been the best showcase of the support we can provide.

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“If we can work this well during such a challenging time, imagine what we can do when things are normal again. We’re moving at a pace where our three-year growth plan is being done in three months.”

Swindell added that the wholesaler’s 500 symbol group retailers had experienced a 100% average sales increase over the lockdown period.

Independent wholesalers have reported ongoing availability issues during the coronavirus pandemic, with many major suppliers choosing to temporarily cancel promotions, remove certain pack sizes and limit stock into cash and carries to cope with increased demand.

Independent retailers also reported seeing availability of stock in supermarkets that they have been unable to get from their wholesaler, leading to Parfetts and others to publicly call for greater supplier support.

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Swindell said: “We’ve been communicating with suppliers about maintaining availability in retail. Demand in convenience is up as bars and restaurants are closed.

“Nobody is going on holiday any time soon, and many people will be at home watching events and sport.

“We’re stressing to suppliers the importance of ensuring convenience retailers are supplied.”

Swindell added that, based on retailer feedback, Parfetts is still continuing to run its promotions. “Our retailers don’t want to give their customers the impression they’re profiteering,” he said. “Other wholesalers are operating on reduced opening hours, but we’ve made no alterations to our opening times.

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“Although we have a delivered business, having various cash and carries around the country allow retailers to pick up stock when it’s available.

“Symbol group retailers who can only get stock through delivered don’t have this advantage.”

He added that the company has also opened a dedicated support line for retailers who want social media help, whether it’s regarding setting up an account or fixing issues.

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