The early weeks of 2015 could see more flux in symbol group membership as retailers evaluate how their wholesalers performed over the vital Christmas period, according to Today’s Group retail trade director John Kinney.

Speaking to Convenience Store, Kinney said many retailers were dissatisfied at the moment and were considering switching from their current retail group.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in some businesses at present and this leaves retailers in a difficult position - the business climate is tough and some symbol groups are simply not giving retailers the support and flexibility that they need,” he said. “For instance, many retailers whose business may have changed over time due to competition are incurring regular penalties for not meeting the minimum order values. The result is that some retailers are rethinking who they work with as their current relationship is not flexible or appropriate for their current business model.”

Retailers will be looking at the festive performance in particular to assess if they should stay or change retail group, Kinney maintained.

“Towards the end of January is the perfect time to change groups - no one wants to take a risk over Christmas. It’s also a good opportunity to look back on Christmas and consider how their symbol group and wholesaler have performed.

“If a wholesaler lets the retailer down at Christmas it can have serious consequences.”

Today’s Group is launching a new promotional programme offering retailers the chance to win more than £50,000-worth of prizes in depots.

Checkout Mania will run from March 2015 and offers retailers the chance to win part of £50,000-worth of prizes.