Reports in trade press have revealed that JJ Foodservice, a leading technological innovator in the UK foodservice wholesaling sector, aims to open two additional distribution depots targeting the London market during the current year. Acton and Croydon have been named as two candidate locations.
Demonstrates the strength of the 'London' opportunity
While JJ has been progressively expanding to other English population centres such as Bristol and Leeds, the decision to double the number of London-based depots, up from the current two to four, shows that the business still sees significant headroom for growth in the capital, especially for its fast-growing collect service. Presently it services its London customers from depots in Enfield and Sidcup, and while these are capable of reaching delivered customers across the city, the catchment for collect customers is smaller, meaning many customers may not be able to access them. With four London depots JJ will be much better placed to provide both delivery and collect service to the great density of customers supported by the still buoyant metropolitan eating out market.
Success of 'hybrid' service model
While originating as delivered wholesaler, since 2009 JJ has included a collect-from-depot option in its model, allowing its customers to benefit from lower prices (excluding the cost of delivery) and the flexibility of being able to purchase in any case quantity, no matter how few. Against the backdrop of the economic slow-down and limited growth in the out of home channel, JJ's collect business has been highly successful amongst its core independent customer base amongst fast food and takeaway operators; and it now accounts for 50% of sales. While the bulk of customer ordering has now moved online, JJ has also included ordering suites in all of its depots allowing customers to order in person too. Depots now operate in strict phase, picking for collect orders by day and then for delivery at night.
JJ Foodservice at Wholesaling 2014 ...
Catch-up with this fast-moving business at IGD's annual sector event 11 September in London.