Wholesalers are on a good run. Last month Booker posted an inflation-busting 6.5% growth in like-for-likes and pre-tax profits up 22%.
They are numbers the big four can only dream of. But then wholesalers haven’t been giving each other bloody noses on pricing like supermarkets. The mults just can’t get away with anything these days without an army of Money Saving Experts crawling the web for weak spots.There simply isn’t the same acute pressure on pricing for wholesalers. Can you imagine a move by Landmark on banana prices forcing everyone else to follow suit?
Most wholesalers conceal their prices from the public, and there has never been an instant way to compare what Coke Zero costs from one C&C to the next. That’s why the move by newcomer 99p Wholesaler to compare its own prices to Booker’s and Bestway’s is so significant.
The site only sells 350 popular ambient lines, but it could pave the way for a new era of price transparency in wholesale. It’s easy to picture indies flocking to see if they can find a better offer. But how will the big wholesalers react?