It’s rare that the supply chain has been as dominant a feature of RN’s news pages as it has in 2017. Despite challenges, many firms have maintained an excellent level of service to retailers this year. 

1. Booker  


Every wholesaler took a hit from the arrival of EUTPD II but Booker managed an impressive 7.7% increase in non-tobacco sales last year. It continues to be 3.1% cheaper than the industry average. The merger with Tesco has been both lauded and condemned by an industry under pressure by inflation, competition and wage increases. But, the tangible investments – particularly in the Premier and Budgens estates this year – show the company hasn’t taken its eye off
the ball.

Did you know? Tesco expects its merger with Booker to be complete by early next year.


2. Bestway


Earlier this year Bestway removed one in five of its soft drinks lines. Less the sign of a company retreating from a core category this was one clear sign that the senior management of this wholesale goliath was focusing on running a more streamlined busines. Did it work? A new arrangement to ‘buy and supply’ Select & Save stores, plus becoming the top-ranking convenience store chain according to Which? magazine, means Bestway has had reasons to cheer in a tough year.

Did you know? Last month Bestway signed a five year deal with Select & Save.


3. Dhamecha   


The wholesaler is pressing ahead with an expansion outside its London heartland where it has built a seven-depot empire around the M25. A Birmingham depot opened this year after the  launch of a Leicester branch in 2015. One RN reader, Sarj Patel of Pasture Lane Stores in Sutton Bonington, cites the arrival of the Leicester branch as a major reason why he had the confidence to move from symbol retailing back to being an unaffiliated retailer after a major store refit earlier this year.

Did you know? Dhamecha’s new 70,000sq ft Birmingham depot created 75 jobs for the local area.


4. JW Filshill 


Such is the confidence of this independent wholesaler about the high standard of its operations that it is sharing best practice videos as part of a marketing campaign. It is not first time the company has shown a taste for innovation. Filshill’s Keystore estate continues to showcase some of the best uses of digital marketing tools. The wholesaler is proof that in an era of consolidation, regional independent wholesalers who offer great service can and will continue to thrive.

Did you know? Filshill serves 175 KeyStore outlets across Scotland


5. Parfetts


Since restructuring last year, Parfetts has focused on customer service, opening up its depots and strengthening promotions – particularly on alcohol. The changes have received a thumbs up from RN readers with Ian Handley joining Go Local Extra and almost immediately seeing a £3 leap in his average basket spend. Like Filshill, the best practice on display from Parfetts suggests a company that is ready for the inevitable challenges of consolidation, inflation and Brexit. 

Did you know? The company’s Go Local retail club 1,500 members.