kishor patel

Source: Kishor Patel

Patel is looking at Morrisons Daily or Budgens as possible replacements 

High-profile independent retailer Kishor Patel is leaving Nisa after almost 20 years.

Patel handed in his six months’ notice this week, which will see the supply contract for his two stores terminate with Nisa early next year. These stores are based in Hemel Hempstead and Elstree & Borehamwood.

He told The Grocer he had not yet decided which symbol or franchise group he will switch to, but was interested in Morrisons Daily and the Booker-owned fascia, Budgens.

“They both have completely unique propositions. Morrisons is strong on brand, value and fresh, and Budgens has a simple delivery model,” he said.

Under a new wholesale partnership, Patel will look to put a greater focus on fresh, fruit & veg, and bakery, he said. However, it was also important for him to work with a wholesaler who can offer him longer life codes, small pack sizes and at least 35% margin across the board.

“Even if we take north of £40,000 per week, we struggle with waste because of large case sizes and short dates on ready meals, pizzas, and fresh produce,” he said.

Timed deliveries were also a crucial selling point for Patel in his search for a replacement wholesaler. “I understand deliveries can fluctuate from time to time, but as long as we get 90% of the deliveries on time, we can plan our staffing and save over 30 hours per week.”

With these new focus areas, Patel aims to boost gross profit by six percentage points to 32%, post waste.

“This is what we are aiming for. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s possible with reviewing the range, which both Morrisons and Budgens are happy to help with,” he added.

“If we cannot achieve it, the business will not be a sustainable model unless I start to work 70 hours per week in the shops. We’ve had many magic wands in the past which have given us an instant and credible increase in football, including the National Lottery, ATMs, and increased trading hours, but we don’t see any more significant magic wands on the horizon.

“Therefore we have to work smarter to improve margins and control costs, and this is what we are looking for from the supply chain.”