Booker Brighton depot

Booker’s dominance in the UK wholesale market was underlined by new research suggesting the pandemic and last year’s supply chain disruption has driven more retailers to its cash & carry depots.

A survey for Lumina Intelligence’s Wholesale Markets Report 2021 found that 47% of convenience retailers shopped with Booker from October to December last year. Almost two-fifths (38%) of symbol retailers used Booker during the period while the figure for non-affiliated independents was 57%.

The next best-performing wholesaler was Bestway, which attracted 21% of all retailers, 14% of symbols and 28% of non-affiliates.

The strong showing of the two biggest cash & carry operators suggested as well as serving their own regular customers, Booker and Bestway, which operate 194 and 60 depots respectively, were being used by retailers making up for some of the shortfalls in their regular delivered orders.

“Booker has been here when our customers have needed us,” said Booker CEO Andrew Yaxley. “In retail, our customers have seen unprecedented demand throughout the past two years as more people have been shopping locally. Our main focus has been on availability to ensure our customers have access to all of the essentials when they need them.

“Our catering customers have faced many challenges with the opening and closing of hospitality. We are proud that our teams and branches have always been open for our customers when they were needed, and been used as their back store to ease cashflow and give them confidence to develop their business  through trends such as delivery, new products and specialist diet ranges.

Booker topped The Grocer’s annual Big 30 once again, reporting turnover of £6.74bn for the year to 28 February 2021, an 8.6% increase on the previous year.