The only way for independent retailers to boost margins is to start pricemarking "throughout the entire supply chain", delegates at the Federation of Wholesale Distributors' Drinksummit heard.
John Baines, senior trading controller of the Today's Group made the claim, and added: "I don't just mean pricemarking the occasional promotion. I'm talking about permanent price-marking on key SKUs - not just on the item, but on the case."
The move would not just add a healthy bonus to retailers' profits, but also to those of wholesalers and suppliers, he pointed out.
Baines also berated suppliers' lack of understanding of the wholesale trade. He called for all suppliers' employees to spend a few days working with a delivered wholesaler, helping with the picking and accompanying drivers on their rounds.
"Very soon, perception of the costs involved in delivering brands, and the margins the wholesaler needs to help increase sales of those same brands, will be etched in your memory," he said.
"Even those who have been supplying wholesalers for years would benefit from getting their hands dirty," he added.