from Tony Hurren, former editor, Convenience Store

Sir; Booker chief Charles Wilson says his company is still pottering along at just "20 miles per hour" (The Grocer, April 8, p6). Later in his FWD presentation, he claimed that "retailers and wholesalers need to think more about their offer".
When I was editor of Convenience Store, from 1986 to 1995, I attended many symbol group conferences. Those run by Spar were always the more professional. Then Spar boss John Irish always impressed on delegates the advantages to be gained from selling the correct range. His findings were based on information gleaned from the group's scanning stores.
Spar has always been ahead of other symbol groups in its thinking and its findings got back to the rank and file via the wholesalers. Mace and Londis were other groups that made range recommendations.
If, as Wilson says, Booker and other wholesalers are that far behind the times, unaffiliated independents will continue to have their backs to the wall.