Parfetts posts second year of exceptional growth

Date : 30 March 2022

Patrick Mitchell-Fox

Senior Analyst

Latest accounts filed with Companies House show that leading northern regional food and grocery wholesaler, Parfetts saw turnover increase to £570m in the year to 30 June 2021, a rise of 19.2% on the previous 12 months. Building on the 26% growth recorded in 2020, Parfetts turnover has leapt by nearly 50% over the two-year period from June 2019. With a customer base heavily weighted to independent convenience retailers, Parfetts has successfully tapped into the very significant opportunity created by pandemic restrictions that have driven local shopping habits over these 24 months.

Growth driven by an evolving hybrid service model

Traditionally a stalwart of cash & carry service, Parfetts has moved decisively in recent years to supplement this with a delivery option as part of a strategy to build stronger links with a core group of loyal retailers as ‘primary’ customers, while also meeting the secondary and top-up needs of a wider group through self-service. Now operated through six of Parfetts’ seven warehouses, delivery accounts for 33% of wholesale turnover, and has been instrumental in extending the geographical reach of the business, helping to recruit new customers up to 100 miles from these depots, in areas like north Wales and the midlands. In addition to delivery, Parfetts also offers a click & collect service, though this accounts for only 4% of turnover, while cash & carry still has a major role to play, representing 63% of sales.

Online a key enabler

Having an effective online ordering platform is critical to building sales for delivery, and Parfetts has been increasing its focus on its online execution to ensure a smooth customer journey as well as creating effective interactions for suppliers. The business has also been quick to see the opportunity of a mobile enabled platform, and customer take-up of the Parfetts’ app has been rapid. Already some 50% of delivery orders are made through the mobile app, with customers attracted by the convenience of being able to order in-store at shelf-edge. However, alongside the online experience Parfetts has also been investing in field sales resource and now has a team of almost 30 on the road across its territory; recognizing the continuing value of face-to-face interactions in B2B recruitment and engagement.

Retail club and symbol package growing platforms for customer engagement

Operating under the Go Local identity Parfetts continues to expand its platforms of engagement for independent retailers. Membership of its retail club (where retailers undertake to execute a specific programme of promotions) has now reached 4,482, up by 589 (+15.1%) versus 2020. Meanwhile, within this the ‘supergroup’ of stores now trading with a fully-branded Go Local (or Go Local Extra) store fit and support package has increased to 785, up by 142 (+22.1%). As well as this core grocery package Parfetts also operates an off licence fascia, The Local, which was launched in 2021 and now includes 15 stores; having successfully recruited several retailers from the Bargain Booze franchise group.