Speaking to the Grocer magazine, Martyn Ward, managing director commercial and sales, at Palmer & Harvey has set out the wholesaler's priorities for the coming year. Key to boosting its business with independent retailers above all, will be a focus on developing its private label ranges and driving online ordering.
M-brand boosted to 480 lines
Branded to tie in with its Mace symbol group, P&H's M-brand offers a core food and grocery range available to all independent retail customers. 2012 saw the wholesaler investing extensively in revamping the established range, boosting its scope in chilled and fresh above all, and improving both shelf-life and margins to drive take up amongst customers. In 2013 it aims to extend the range to nearly 500 lines, to provide retailers with strong value alternatives to branded lines. However, unlike many wholesale private label it is not planned for lines to be price-marked.
Online ordering to reach 75% of customers
With its online ordering system now well-established P&H aims to drive up usage of the system in the coming year. Facilitated with initiatives such as its free hand-held product scanner, P&H aims to have 75% of its customers using the system in the coming years. As well as providing greater flexibility to customers, online ordering also offers more efficiency for the wholesaler, requiring less resource dedicated to traditional telesales ordering systems. P&H now has over 3,000 online customers, of which around 80% are using the system for the majority of their orders.
Focus on price paying dividends
In 2012 P&H also invested significantly in ensuring it has competitive prices for retailers against other sources of supply; matching key lines against cash & carry operators, as well as offering volume discounts on tobacco. In the first half of its 2012/13 financial year P&H reports that non-tobacco categories, especially, have benefited, with sales up 5%.
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