The merger of wholesale buying groups Landmark Wholesale and Today’s Wholesale Services completed yesterday, creating Unitas Wholesale Ltd.

Unitas Wholesale has become the UK’s largest food and drink wholesale buying group, supporting around 180 independent wholesalers who supply thousands of independent retailers.

“Through enhanced scale and capability, Unitas will be the sustainable wholesale business partner for its supplier base, creating an alternative route to market in the face of the consolidation that is taking place within the wholesale sector,” said Darren Goldney, managing director, Unitas Wholesale.

The Unitas Central Office will be located at the current Today’s Group head office in Doncaster.

“We are excited about the opportunities that Unitas will bring and glad that we have got to this stage quickly and smoothly,” added Goldney.

The increased scale offered by Unitas would result in a tighter, more focused own label range; a broader offering of central services that reduce costs for wholesalers; core range schemes that reach beyond the enlarged symbol estate; and the development of promotional execution processes that improve return on investment, he said.

Current 2018 joint business agreements between the two groups and suppliers will remain in place until the end of the calendar year. The new Unitas Wholesale trading team will begin discussions with suppliers regarding 2019 from 1 December with operational alignment occurring throughout 2019 via a process of integration.

“Unitas will also create a new and exciting opportunity for suppliers, independent wholesalers and the thousands of independent businesses that we collectively serve,” Goldney added.