Size of depot: 105,000 sq ft Established: 1993 Total number of lines: 26,700 Promotional focus: 400 lines every week
Don Wouhra, director of Indian food manufacturer East End Foods' cash & carry business, runs a tight ship at the company's biggest and busiest cash & carry in West Bromwich. He has to, with 140 staff, 600 to 700 customers a day passing through its checkouts and 40 lorries a day arriving at its back door.
Part of Landmark, the massive 105,000 sq ft depot currently boasts an availability rate of 98.9%. Every one of the depot's 12 checkouts remains open all day.
"I always put myself on the other side of the desk and ask myself what my customers want," says Wouhra. "They want to come here, get everything they want and leave as quickly as possible. They would never want to wait too long at the tills."
It's not only queues at the checkouts that Wouhra has eradicated. He also has a zero-tolerance policy on damages and makes sure that any damaged goods are immediately sent back to the supplier at the backdoor - even if this means that his staff have to strip every pallet on arrival.
All of the 26,700 lines available in the cash & carry are grocery items, and, says Wouhra, his customers will never find a lawnmower or a plasma screen television making their way on to its shelves.
"We do not sell non food. We are food people," he says.
"We are not Dixons. Dixons doesn't sell baked beans, so we don't sell cameras. My aim is to make sure that we always do well at what we are good at rather than trying to nibble at things that are none of our business."
Another area that the depot has avoided is catering. Although there are at least 600 caterers in the surrounding area, Wouhra estimates that there are nine other cash & carries ready to serve them and says the catering sector should not be entered into half-heartedly.
Competition in the local area also played a part in determining why the depot does not have a fresh food offer. Although Wouhra introduced fresh food into the depot a few years ago, he found that retailers who wanted fresh produce were instead choosing to source their produce directly from a vegetable market two miles away.
Despite this, Wouhra is not unduly concerned by competition - not even from a cash & carry warehouse operated by EastEnders, a depot that opened in April just a stone's throw away. "If companies choose to come into the area, then so be it. We are fortunate that our customers shop across the board and know that we are fairly priced," he says.
The clear strength of East End Foods' West Bromwich warehouse is its ability to provide a full grocery offer. "If you look at our customers' trolleys, you will see that they shop from aisle to aisle. We are not one of those places where people will come in for just one product. They will come in and buy everything from confectionery to alcohol to petfood," says Wouhra.
The depot has an impressive array of tobacco and alcohol lines and its East End Foods-branded range of spices, lentils, rice and chutneys is very popular with its customers, but Wouhra is always ready to adapt its offering to current trends in the market. "Trade is always changing and my plan is to change with it," he says. "You can't have a one-track mind when it comes to business."