Unitas Wholesale is planning to add 120 stores annually to its fascia estate.
The plan was unveiled to members last week during its first annual conference in Portugal following the completion of the merger between Today’s Group and Landmark Wholesale last November.
Unitas also confirmed that it plans to retain its three main retail brands Today’s, Day-Today and Life-style. There had been speculation that it would look to consolidate these as part of the merged busi-ness. The group currently has over 1,000 store operating under the three brands. It will launch a new retail-focussed magazine covering all three brands in January.
The group is also set to ramp up its foodservice focus, a category that it said was enjoying significant growth. Unitas senior trading controller Les Mohammed said the its foodservice business was worth £2.5bn, with with 95 out-of-home members servicing 120,000 foodservice outlets and 26,000 on-trade outlets.
Plans include overhauling foodservice marketing material with new core range and own-brand guides.
Mohammed also said a new magazine would be launched in Q3 for the out-of-home members, bring-ing together elements of the Landmark Wholesale and Today’s Group magazines.
The content will be designed to inform and inspire those in foodservice with recipes, trends and key messages from Unitas, suppliers and industry experts.
A new website and app, plus a programme of bigger and revamped events including the Unitas trade show, Meet the Member events for foodservice and on-trade, and a golf day will be launched.
A range guide of 850 SKUs, called Plan for Profit and designed to help independent retailers identify the key core convenience products, has already been rolled out.
“For 2020, our plans are ambitious,” said Unitas managing director Darren Goldney. “We’re continually looking at new ways to drive up sales and profitability for both members and suppliers.”