Booker chief executive Charles Wilson has promised to deliver a “very compelling pricing structure” for symbol group retailers following the completion of its acquisition of Musgrave’s GB business.
Speaking at the company’s final results for the year ended 27 March 2015, Wilson described the acquisition of Musgrave GB as “joining forces to help independent retailers compete with the multiples”.
He said: “If a Londis truck is going down a road with a Premier retailer we can drop goods into both, and that’s win-win because it is increased volume and utilisation.
“We will work with retailers to get the right solution, but we see something along the lines of central delivery, top-up delivery and cash & carry services being able to provide a very compelling pricing structure.
“Budgens and Londis are strong in London and the South East, while Premier strong in the Midlands and the North. We like the Londis and Budgens systems, and we see their chilled offering as being very useful for Premier retailers. We want to get to something that strengthens all of the brands.”
A question mark lies over the Budgens company-owned stores however. “We don’t like competing with our customers and we don’t own any pubs restaurants or stores,” explained Wilson. “We need to look at the company-owned stores, but we don’t expect to be competing with our customers.”
Sales to Premier retailers were up by 14% in the year according to Booker’s results, with total group sales up 1.5% to £4.8bn. Operating profit was up 17% to £140.3m.
Wilson added: “We’ve had a good year, and a strong year on Premier. We’ve gone on TV, and that’s really worked, and our plans to Focus, Drive and Broaden the business are on track, and don’t change.”