Sir; re the criticism of symbol groups and the support for Booker in A symbol of excess' (The Grocer, Letters, June 17, p17). There are surely hidden costs in buying from cash and carry. The turnover of our store would mean we would have to employ one person full time to constantly make a two hour round trip to our nearest Booker to fulfil our needs. We enjoy the benefits of belonging to a group which customers perceive as quality. They know we have to attain a certain standard and this gives them the confidence to buy from us. We have been trading for 11 years, and saw the biggest growth during the first year of displaying the Mace fascia ­ 20% up on the previous year. The advice of true professionals and contact with other successful retailers has increased our awareness of an ever changing marketplace. An umbrella of many smaller suppliers with excellent discounts and credit terms and one monthly bill, which gives me great savings on bank charges, not to mention adminstration time, is another advantage, along with a consistently good quality own brand which customers can rely on. Are not company cars and foreign holidays the mark of a successful and professional organisation doing its job well and reaping the benefits on behalf of its employees and members? The multiples have had the lion's share of the market. Only by being part of an excellent symbol group can we as individual retailers hope not simply to survive but grow our businesses in the future. Being a Mace member has also given me the confidence to put my name to my letters. Gloria Williams Mace Retailer {{LETTERS }}