Deals improve loyalty Delivered wholesaler

Retailers are looking around the various wholesalers for bargains at the moment, but probably more worrying is the amount of grey market stock on issue this year.

As a result we are having to come up with more and better deals for retailers. Recently we have been rolling out a number of case deals on beer in particular. At the end of the day, price is still only one factor among several crucial ones.

We have already been and are still monitoring loyalty more closely this year. We may well close some particularly disloyal accounts. We are also ensuring retailers with trading agreements comply with the conditions they have agreed to.

Price is just one factor Cash & carry and delivered wholesaler

Retailers and caterers are shopping around for bargains a lot at the moment, but they always have done. That is the nature of the customer. They may even be doing less so as the fuel price increases kick in. This plays a big role – they may not want to drive around between various wholesalers.

We have always offered more than anyone else so we will just carry on giving them the best deals that we can.

Price is not always the top reason that they come to shop in one place – service, availability and personal contacts go a long way towards keeping a customer in place.

Remain competitive Cash & carry operator

In the current economic climate with ever-increasing prices, retailers are naturally looking out for bargains to remain competitive themselves.

Excellent customer service is crucial, but price is always a factor and we have to remain as competitive as we can to offer the keenest prices to our retailers. This is why we have put even greater emphasis on buying well.

We are not panicking into doing anything radically different, however. We will continue to do what we have always done – offer competitive prices with excellent customer service and great product availability. While the discounters revel in the economic downturn, the major multiples are falling over each other to offer the best deals on family favourites to show they are in touch with shoppers’ needs.

Now it seems that independent retailers are also changing tack to find the cheapest deals. According to a poll of the UK biggest wholesalers, independent retailers and caterers have started shopping around for bargains rather than sticking with their chosen wholesaler.

More than three quarters (77%) of the wholesalers who responded to our survey said their customers were shopping around more. In the current economic climate, it was inevitable independents would look for deals, said one specialist wholesaler. “The need to seek out higher-margin opportunities is paramount in the current climate and proactive retailers will do just this in order to maintain their profitability,” he added. The issue was being further complicated by grey market goods flooding the market. This, he explained, had forced him to offer better promotions, particularly on products such as beer, which had been affected by the grey market stock. In all, 56% of wholesalers surveyed said they were offering more deals than usual to keep customers shopping with them. One cash & carry operator had bought more stock than normal ahead of the price increases, so that it was able to hold on to prices and remain competitive. However, another cash & carry specialist said he was not looking to change the way he did business based on the state of the economy. “Retailers are always very aware of market prices during good times or bad,” he said. “We have always aimed to deliver consistently the best deals that we possibly can, and this remains our policy.” He also agreed with the 57% of wholesalers who confirmed that price was still the overriding factor for independents when buying from a wholesaler. “This has not changed,” he argued. “While other factors are very important, if you don’t have the right price package overall you will not survive.”

However, apart from increasing the number of deals they offered, wholesalers on the whole (71%) said they would not be introducing any more schemes or incentives to sway retailers at this time.

“Gimmicks are the last thing you need in difficult times,” said another wholesaler