Retailers positive after first Booker merger roadshow

Retailers feeling more confident about the proposed Booker-Tesco merger after attending the wholesaler’s first national roadshow.

Retailers have told RN they are feeling more confident about the proposed Booker-Tesco merger after attending the wholesaler’s first national roadshow.

Booker chief executive Charles Wilson started a tour of the country in Glasgow on Tuesday after invitations were sent out last week.

“One example of pro-ducts he said could be improved was fruit and vegetables, where we could have access to a much bigger range,” said Mo Razzaq, of Premier Mo’s Convenience Store and Family Shopper in Glasgow.

“But he couldn’t be specific on a lot of things because of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) probably investigating.”

Mr Razzaq said retailers “looked relieved” at the end of the event, which lasted more than two hours.

“I was looking at faces around the room at the start and at the end and I thought a lot of retailers are feeling more confident now,” he added.

Another key advantage discussed was Booker retailers gaining access to Tesco Bank for their business banking.

“That is very exciting because at the moment my banking charges can be really high,” said Sandy Sarwar, owner of three Premier Pricekrackers in Dundee.

“People were able to ask questions and get answers. It made it clearer what the future holds.”

Also attending the event were Booker managing director for retail Steve Fox, Londis brand director Martin Swadling and Family Shopper head Robert Butler.

Other locations on the tour, which also takes place next week, include Lancaster, Doncaster, Leicester, Newport and Newbury.

Amandeep Singh, of a Premier store and Family Shopper store in Barnsley, told RN he would be attending the Doncaster event.

“For people like me whose three-year deal with Booker is coming to an end it will be good to get all the facts before coming to a decision,” he said.


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