Symbol groups should get tough and expel retailers who don't comply with promotional strategies, according to Philip Jenkins, MD of buying group Sugro UK.

Jenkins, speaking at the FWD's annual conference, said wholesalers ran symbol operations because they knew that supplier and wholesaler investment would grow retailers' businesses.

But those retailers who did not comply and were only "in it for the money" were not just risking their own business, but also jeopardising the futures of other retailers.

"Retailers have to understand that nothing is for nothing," he added.

In a no-nonsense speech, Jenkins also challenged the FWD to work with suppliers and organisations such as the Association of Convenience Stores in order to develop a blueprint for availability.

Independent retailers needed to be convinced of the importance of having strong availability on about 300 must-stock lines, not including tobacco, he argued. "It is more complex than some suppliers might think," said Jenkins.

"Stocking a range that is too broad will affect a retailer's cash flow. If the cash flow is thinned out it will impact stock levels as retailers will have less cash to keep must-stocks available. We need to show retailers that less is more."

Sugro, which owns the Nearbuy fascia in Britain and operates six stores in the north west of England, was working on refining its convenience operation before rolling the fascia out nationwide, said Jenkins.

Sugro is encouraging its wholesalers to prepare their ranges accordingly.