One year on from Musgrave’s takeover, Londis retailers say the group’s new bosses are delivering on their promises and responding to their needs. Year-on-year sales are up 5.8% while the number of retailers using the group’s wholesale services regularly is up 9.5%.

Londis retailer Raj Chandegra, chairman of the National Retailer Council, said once the new owners came in he and other retailers realised they could previously have been doing a lot better “had people been focused and made the right investments”.
He added that the company was listening to retailers and taking concerns on board. “They’re delivering on their promises, such as the price reductions and improving the chilled operation, and retailers are benefiting,” he said.

Atul Sodha who runs a Londis at Uxbridge, Middlesex said: “They’re taking care of what needs to be done. It’s a really exciting time.”

A Londis spokeswoman said the sales increase demonstrated the faith that both existing and prospective retailers had in the new Musgrave Budgens Londis (MBL) business. She added that better communication had been the key to growth, through independent retailer customer surveys and the extensive network of newly established national, regional and local cluster group meetings.

She said that since the takeover there had been changes to pricing on milk, bread and 20s cigarettes, loyalty discounts and new chilled ranges which had combined to result in significant uplifts in both sales and retailer loyalty.

Further price cuts have been promised for early autumn in grocery, soft drinks, confectionery and beer by Londis head of buying, impulse, John Taylor. He said: “We have introduced a chilled supply chain to deal with short-life products and rolled it out to 50 stores; more are being identified.”

Londis has also enhanced its overriding discount scheme with new bands that make it easier for retailers to move up and increase their rebate.

Store standards are being improved across the brand, with all new members now having to conform to set criteria around purchase loyalty, adherence to promotions, standard of shop-fit and introduction of epos.