Independent wholesale groups Landmark Wholesale and Today’s Group are to put a proposal to merge the two organisations to a vote of their respective members.

The merged company, called Unitas Wholesale Ltd, is designed to be a larger, more effective and efficient group, dedicated to supporting independent wholesalers. Members will have the opportunity to vote on the proposal, with voting closing on September 6. If approved, the transaction is expected to complete by November 2018.

Darren Goldney, Managing Director of Today’s Group, said: “We believe that this consolidation is narrowing the options for suppliers and potentially threatening the future of independent businesses as multiple chains expand into the wholesale channel. This merger acts to ensure the sustainable and future success of our members, many of whom have a multi-generation legacy of service to independent businesses.”

John Mills, Managing Director of Landmark Wholesale added: “As member-owned organisations and in line with the principles of ‘every business matters, no matter how big or small’, the two groups will decide whether to progress with the proposed merger.”

Current 2018 joint business agreements between the two groups and suppliers will remain in place until the end of the calendar year. Unitas’ new trading team will commence discussions with suppliers regarding 2019 terms and joint business plans from November, with operational alignment occurring throughout 2019 via a process of integration.