Newly formed Unitas Wholesale wants to be known for being “the champion of independents”, according to its managing director, Darren Goldney.
The buying group consists of 179 independent grocery and foodservice wholesalers and has more purchasing power than any other wholesaler in the UK.
Speaking at a supplier briefing in London this week, senior management explained how they will provide core ranging, extended availability and exclusive deals going forward.
Goldney expressed a need to reverse the rise of own-label in the grocery market, to match demand for well-known brands, and to achieve stronger performance in a competitive wholesale market.
Discussing recent supermarket takeovers, he said: “Tomorrow there are no boundaries and there is increasing market dominance. In the world we’re heading towards, the sector is consolidated and there’s less choice.
“If Today’s Group and Landmark were not careful, independent wholesalers would have been pushed to the extremities of the market.”
Explaining how Unitas plans to fight back against increased competition from multiples, retail director John Kinney told RN: “We need to buy better, we need greater scale and we need to allow this to cascade down to our retailers by pooling our resources and education.
The strategy also relies on support from the new firm’s suppliers.
“Promotions and margins are irrelevant if retailers can’t sell the stock,” said Kinney.
“We can’t do this with brands which they’ve never heard of. Customers want brands they recognise and we want to ensure 99.4% of our products are from major suppliers,” he added.