It was important to ensure customers had access to essential products in their local communities, said Suszczenia
Parfetts is moving all operations to a 24/7 footing and recruiting additional staff
It has also engaged professional security teams to help depot staff with the influx of customers
Parfetts is urging suppliers to keep wholesalers well stocked so local shops can continue to sell vital goods in the heart of communities during the coronavirus crisis.
Joint-MD Greg Suszczenia warned against suppliers prioritising major supermarkets over the wholesale sector when it came to providing stock.
He said the most important thing right now was for suppliers to meet the increased demand so that customers, particularly the elderly, continued to have access to essential products within their local communities.
“Our customers are in the heart of communities. The overwhelming majority know many of their customers by name, and I continually hear heart-warming stories. This distribution channel must be supported because it massively over-indexes in the demographics of those that are affected, particularly the elderly. Lockdown will be particularly tough for these people,” he said.
Parfetts is also adopting additional measures in response to the crisis. It is moving all operations to a 24/7 footing, but maintaining its standard depot opening hours.
The employee-owned company has redeployed office and field-based staff to depots to help restock shelves and pick for online orders.
It is recruiting additional staff to cover sickness and isolation as well as deal with an increase in demand. Last week, sales, excluding cigarettes, were up exactly 100% on the same period a year ago.
Parfetts has engaged professional security teams to help depot staff with the influx of customers while it is also bringing forward its staff bonus from July to April.