Parfetts is investing in new depot technology it hopes will drive efficiency and help mitigate inflation.

The wholesaler believes the Optrack technology, which increases efficiency by 30%-40%, will allow it to stay on top of price increases without having to pass on excess costs to customers.

“We think we can become more efficient and better operators, and not have to pass on any costs to the independent retailer,” Parfetts joint-MD Guy Swindell told The Grocer.

Swindell was speaking as the wholesaler recorded a 25% rise in pre-tax profits for the year to June 2021.

It also saw turnover increase by 19% after the company was able to build upon increased demand during the pandemic.

Parfetts attributed its excellent performance to having the infrastructure in place to meet and maintain this increased demand.

“The world really changed when Boris shut the pubs. That period from March to June added around £100m in turnover,” explained Swindell.

“We’ve been trading for 40 years. We have big sheds, great locations and a massive range. It was a perfect storm, but we were ready for that onslaught and could cope with that demand.

”Then when the pubs started to reopen and normality began to return, we were thinking: where will we land in terms of weekly turnover?

“But I’m pleased to say that, as we went through this last financial year, we have seen sales baked-in. We’ve traded up really well.”

Parfetts was also able to grow the number of members of its Go Local retail club by 15% from 3,893 to 4,482 across the financial year.

The wholesaler said many new Go Local members were persuaded to join off the back of the company’s strong pandemic performance.

“A lot of new customers came in and saw what we could offer. It [the pandemic] was a fantastic showcase for our company and we got a lot of new business and that stuck with us,” he said.

“When these customers came in, we were quite quick to talk about our Go Local offer and our investment in stores.

“Because we had worked with our key customers and invested in their stores, they in turn saw an increase in footfall and turnover which comes back to us.”