Makro Cash & Carry is hoping to replicate the success of its European counterparts through its enlarged field sales force.

The lossmaking wholesaler has been hiring customer consultants since 2005 to provide a dedicated point of contact for help and advice. Since upping the recruitment programme in April it now has more than 100 consultants.

While third-quarter results from parent Metro Group this week revealed that sales in its wholesale division fell 1.2% to 8.6bn in Western Europe, sales in several countries had been boosted by building the sales teams. Growth in Spain was in double digits.

"In several countries the field force was massively stepped up with customer advisors familiar with the needs of the different customer groups from their own experience," the company said in a statement.

"Gastronomers, for example, are advised by former chefs or restaurant owners. This measure is complemented by a new incentive system, where the income is linked more closely to operational success. This type of successful measure will gradually be rolled out to the whole of Western Europe."

Makro would not comment on the impact of the extra customer consultants but in the summer told The Grocer it would double their number following the launch of a delivery arm for its foodservice customers.

Total Metro Cash & Carry sales rose 1.4% to 22.5bn in the third quarter, boosted by strong food sales.

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