Unitas Wholesale and Confex sever ties

Date : 30 June 2020

Patrick Mitchell-Fox

Senior Retail Analyst

It has been reported that Confex the impulse-led wholesale buying group has ended its link with with Unitas Wholesale, the UK’s biggest wholesale buying group, with which it held associate membership.  The link derived from the relationship created between Confex and the Landmark buying group in 2000, which was then perpetuated when Landmark merged with the Today’s Group in 2018 to form Unitas.

Group-within-a-group status ended

While the function and aims of both Unitas and Confex are similar, and there is even some overlap in membership, Confex has remained a viable proposition with a focus on engaging with smaller independent wholesalers, while Unitas is based around a core of notably larger businesses.  At the outset the purpose of affiliating with a larger group was to gain improved terms on broader categories such as grocery and alcohol, though latterly Confex has gained some scale in these areas for itself.

Increased focus on foodservice with private label launch

Confex has also been seeking to extend its own in-house capability in the foodservice channel, to broaden its membership appeal.  Earlier this year it announced the forthcoming launch of a new foodservice private label range of 275 lines under the ‘Core’ brand to be introduced at the beginning of 2021.  Previously members looking for equivalent private label would have relied on Unitas’ ‘Caterer’s Kitchen’ range.

Darren Goldney, Managing Director, Unitas Wholesale commented:

‘Moving forward we believe that collaborations must add value to all parties and this one no longer does.  For clarity, additional collaborations that can accelerate value, such as Country Range Group, who has a shared vision for improvement and excellence in foodservice that Unitas can complement, are still very much welcome.’