North of England wholesaler Parfetts is to step up its recruitment to symbol and retail club membership following the successful launch of a 24-hour picking system and record Christmas sales.

The group, which operates six cash and carry depots in Merseyside, Derbyshire and Yorkshire, aims to expand its retail club membership from 1,750 to 2,000 during 2017, and to increase the number of Go Local fascia stores to 400.

The expansion is being supported by the successful implementation of the GOLD (Go Local Direct) picking system at the company’s Sheffield branch, which operates as a normal cash and carry in the daytime but remains open at night for staff to pick stock for deliveries. As a result, Parfetts is now able serve a wider footprint of customers.

The wholesaler recorded sales growth of 8.8% over the five week period covering Christmas (+12.5% growth excluding cigarettes), including two record weeks for the company and four of their six branches enjoying record weeks individually.

Joint managing director Greg Suszczenia said: “Our recently instigated three-point strategy is already producing results. We centralised the buying functions for all six branches into our Stockport head office and completed a branch modernisation and customer development programme as well as introducing a new delivered GO Local Direct service - GOLD - out of our Sheffield depot.

“We are very optimistic about the prospects for the year ahead and have ambitious plans which include the expansion of our retail club membership to 2,000 and fascia stores to 400. With our improved logistics capability, we are now able to open up our service to wider geographical areas.”