From Colin Freeman, Packets Wholesale, Cambridge
Dear Sir;

re Walker direct to store trial helps swell snacks (The Grocer, Sept 14, p8).
This article has left me almost speechless - Walkers, a multi-million pound company using Walkers' local van sales based at the cash and carry outlets of Booker (a multi-million pound company), drawing stocks from Booker to avoid the cost of warehouses, selling stock into outlets previously supplied by who?
The answer is by the smaller wholesalers like myself who have to cover the cost of warehouses, ie rent or mortgage, heating, electricity and business rates.
Martin Glenn states in the article: "The cash and carries the products were sourced from were happy with the arrangements." I bet they were.
Walkers has taken it upon itself to rebuild Booker's lost customer base and has retail development representatives who are also selling stock on behalf of Booker cash and carries, not on a trial basis but as a permanent fixture.
I have lost countless sales in the Cambridge area since I started my business eight years ago, maybe two or three cases at a time. But recently it has grown worse.
Many wholesalers like me are worried by what we see as unfair competition. In many cases our biggest supplier is fast becoming our biggest rival.