Leading UK wholesaler Booker has reported results for 2012/13, confirming sales up 3.5% to £3,992m, with operating profit up 12% to £99m. Gross and operating margins both improved, rising to 4.0% and 2.4% respectively. These figures do not include any contribution from Makro, which, following competition clearance was finally consolidated within the wider Booker group as of 19th April.
2012/13 a big year for group development
In the last year Booker has made significant strides in its drive to 'Broaden' the scope of its business, enabling it to target a whole range of new customer groups. The launch of Chef Direct has given it a platform from which it can service the multi-site out of home market, including corporate customers in the fast growing casual dining segment. The acquisition of Makro has brought a new customer base of a million small businesses and self employed individuals.
Makro business largely incremental
Though both operating cash & carry wholesale formats, Makro and Booker only share small elements of their customer bases. Booker's customer base is 96% 'trade', comprising retailers and caterers, while Makro's is only 35%. As a result only 6% of Makro customers also shop at Booker and 10% of Booker's at Makro.
Pilot in Sheffield to provide template for new hybrid depot
Now free to proceed with the integration of Makro, Booker will be keen get its plans for the business in place; Makro has continued to trade poorly following previous attempts to drive the business in a more 'trade' oriented direction. Booker will now launch a new trial format in the Makro Sheffield depot, incorporating the full range of its own trade offer alongside the scaled back Makro ranges. The depot will also provide space for creating a platform for its delivery services targeting a growing range of needs amongst catering customers as well as Booker's Premier symbol group retailers.
Half the Makro depots to be converted
Booker believes that up to 15 of the 30 Makro depots are suitable for this hybrid format and will use the learnings from Sheffield to tailor a solution relevant to each of the local markets. The revamped depots will also provide scope to extend the reach and capability of Booker's local delivery services, targeting a growing range of needs amongst catering customers as well as Booker's Premier symbol group retailers.
Booker is evolving rapidly ...
... hear the latest developments direct from Guy Farrant, Managing Director UK Cash & Carry, plus wider sector insight from many other key operators at IGD's Wholesaling 2013 conference, 12 September, London, click here for details.