East Anglian cash and carry operator ForWard Foods is hoping to develop a new wholesaling concept to support local independent retailers.
Managing director James Ward is planning to develop a trade park for retailers, comprising a cash and carry as well as other businesses that would be complementary to small retailers. Ward said: "I want to do something new for retailers and create something that is a destination for all their needs."
He is hoping to develop the operation in Norfolk within the next 18 months. ForWard would own the site and cash and carry and rent adjacent premises to businesses such as signmakers, equipment suppliers, butchers and greengrocers.
In April ForWard took over the operation of a 15,000sq ft former AC Ward & Son depot in Sudbury, Suffolk, following James Ward's exit from online wholesaler Blueheath.
Ward said that turnover at the depot had now doubled from £50,000 to £100,000 a week.
He also revealed ambitious expansion plans. He said: "We would like to operate several small sites like this across the region. Since April we have been buying better and selling better and can definitely take this model to other sites."