Alan Walker has been general manager at Booker's Brighton branch for only a month, but he's no raw recruit to the cash and carry industry. He has been in the trade for an impressive 29 years.
Starting with Lonsdale and Thompson, Walker, aged 48, soon joined Booker and worked his way up to become general manager of its Portsmouth depot in 1999 before the move to Brighton.
Like Portsmouth, Brighton is a lively outlet, with 1,500 retail customers, not to mention 4,500 caterers on its books.
The depot is open seven days a week, with a half day on Sunday and late opening until 8.30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to cater for all these customers.
With 75,000 sq ft of selling space, every single one of its 102 staff is required to cover that ground.
Walker heads a four-strong management team of deputy general manager Colin Pittock and assistant managers Paul Harris and Gareth Trevitt.
The team is constantly striving to find as many ways as possible to cater for customers' needs, says Walker.
One way is by actively recruiting customers to Booker's revised Premier fascia, launched at the Convenience Retailing Show earlier this month. Four candidates in the Brighton area are already being considered for the scheme.
And with no let-up in competition from delivered wholesalers, Walker also aims to boost customer service by increasing direct delivery operations, as well as drop shipments from suppliers. "More and more retailers are looking at the delivery option. We have 50 delivered customers and are looking to grow this in the next year. We are also in the process of rolling out drop shipment. In trials, it pushed customer purchases up hugely."