The UK’s largest wholesaler completed the deal to buy the Mace brand in Scotland from Somerfield last month and is now beginning to tap into existing customers north of the border to expand membership from 36 to 120 by 2006.
Some 25 independents had already decided to switch to Spar because of Somerfield’s perceived lack of focus. Nisa-Today’s said it had attracted 10 of the best Mace retailers (The Grocer, July 2, p14).
However, P&H has already added three new Mace stores to its Scottish portfolio, in Glasgow, Inverness and Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.
The 25 Your Stores that P&H had built up in Scotland are to be phased out in favour of the Mace symbol, which is now getting more investment in people, retail development and promotions throughout the UK.
MD Graham McPherson said: “Mace can grow significantly. Now that we have the symbol in Scotland, England and Wales, it will give Mace a new impetus.”
P&H also has plans to extend its Snacksdirect concept into other categories, such as confectionery and soft drinks. McPherson said the company was in talks with a major fmcg company and a pilot could be launched soon.
Snacksdirect has a fleet of 153 vans that distribute snacks, crisps, biscuits and cake brands to 25,000 outlets. The drivers also cold call on retailers. A four-week new business sales drive last month picked up an extra 1,200 customers.