Londis: wants to focus on more “progressive” retailers

Londis has been turning away prospective new members as part of a recruitment strategy shake-up.

The symbol group denied claims by senior industry sources it had implemented a recruitment freeze, but confirmed it had ditched its lower-tier membership offer as part of a review.

Retail director John Pattison said Londis had streamlined criteria for new members in a bid to focus on more ‘progressive’ retailers.

The arrival of the multiples in convenience had “evolved the expectations and demands of the convenience shopper,” he said, and the changes would enable Londis to focus on recruiting retailers who “demonstrate an entrepreneurial flair, and an absolute focus on meeting the needs of today’s shopper.”

Previously, smaller retailers were able to join by negotiating a minimum spend in return for a reduced retailer support package. All retailers must now commit to purchasing 85% of stock through Londis.

But a number of Londis retailers told The Grocer they were concerned Musgrave’s wholesale prices were “too high” and not competitive.

“I get the impression Musgrave has no plans or any direction,” said one retailer, who felt Londis was “falling behind” the competition. “They just seem to be squeezing retailers for what they can without really investing; Londis prices are more expensive than their competitors’.

“Overall it’s not a bad idea to get retailers who spend more in-house so they increase their buying power. But the truth is Musgrave already has huge buying power but chooses not to pass on the savings and opts to milk retailers instead.”

Musgrave insisted the strategy would enable it to better focus its investment and support. As part of its commitment, it would unveil a new value own-label brand this summer, it added.