Expansion of retail club and symbol group membership in the North East of England is going to be a key priority following Parfetts’ acquisition of the former Blakemore’s cash and carry depot in Middlesbrough, the company has confirmed.
The wholesaler now has a catchment area covering the whole of the North of England and North Wales, stretching from the Scottish border down to Leicester in the Midlands. The 2,250 members of the Go Local retail club account for over 70% of Parfetts turnover, which reached £345m in the last financial year, before the acquisition of the Middlesbrough depot. Symbol group members trading under the Go Local Extra banner account for 23% of turnover, with fascia numbers expected to reach 450 by the end of 2018.
The company has set a long-term target of 3,000 retail club members, including 1,000 trading under the fascia scheme. Head of customer development and marketing Guy Swindell said: “Three and a half years ago we didn’t have any delivered business at all, but now it is in excess of £1m per week.
“It is our policy to deliver to fascia customers and, although it is a lot more complex we see delivered as our biggest opportunity for additional growth. We generally don’t use the phrase cash and carry any more, we call them retailer hubs.”
With the acquisition of the 78,000sq ft Middlesbrough site, Parfetts now trades from seven depots. The Sheffield and Somercotes warehouses are open 24 hours, while at the other sites delivery orders are usually picked from the shelves during quieter periods in the afternoon.
Retailers joining the Go local Extra symbol group are expected to sign a five-year trading agreement, run the group’s promotions (roughly 150 lines every three weeks) and allocate “the majority” of their purchasing spend through the wholesaler. Members are audited on promotional compliance, with cash rewards given for successful implementation. Parfetts claims to achieve compliance levels of 95%.