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Delivered or Cash & Carry?

There is a surge in retailers choosing a delivery service in preference to shopping in cash & carries.  So says the research firm HIM which has recently issued a report stating that the proportion of retailers using delivered wholesale for their main shopping mission has increased by 22 percentage points to 89% in the last 12 months. Their findings indicate that that the top up distress mission has overtaken the main shop as the second most popular mission in cash & carry.

Frankly this is not exactly a revelation. The shift from cash & carry to delivered has been rolling since 2004. Maybe the pace has accelerated due to the difficulty of hiring reliable workers and the associated impact of the living wage and pension costs? HIM has found that the three main drivers to delivered wholesale are: value for money, reliability and acceptable prices.

That said operators such as Dhamecha are trading strongly on their C&C only model and they trade more intensely than any other C&C in the industry. Your views on this...?

My current experience in wholesale is that retailers don’t like to pay for deliveries. Of the two main pricing models: increased product prices or a standing delivery charge neither seems acceptable. But guys, here’s the reality check and the kicker. Wholesalers cannot deliver for free. They don’t have the margins to absorb the additional cost of picking, loading and transporting the goods to your stores. So it really is decision time for you. 

I really would like to hear your views on this. This is a fundamental industry issue going forward.

David Gilroy

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