The Co-op and Morrisons are also understood to have been among those showing an interest in the Scunthorpe-based wholesaler and symbol retail chain, which has undergone a chequered existence since splitting from Today’s Group in 2011.
Two years ago, Nick Read was recruited as chief executive and Robin Brown became the new chief financial officer – appointments which helped stabilise the business.
Nisa, which is in the middle of a three-year development programme, recently hired bankers to advise on its strategy.
Last year sales rose by 2.3% to £1.3 billion after adjustments were made for losing the Costcutter account. Pre-tax profit reached £7.3 million after a previous year’s loss of £2.9 million.
The number of sites serviced was approaching 3,500, with a net 160 stores joining the group.
Read, who joined the company from Thomas Cook and was previously a Tesco and Aldi director, said that full-year profit this year is forecast at £8.5 million.
Tel: Nisa Retail (01724) 282028
Dhamecha Foods has paid ‘several million pounds’ to develop a site in the Smethwick area of Birmingham for its ninth cash & carry. The plan is to start trading by the end of the year.
The 70,000 sq ft modified depot, with around 75 staff, will stock a wide range of grocery products, confectionery, beers, wines & spirits, toiletries and tobacco for convenience retailers and caterers in the West Midlands.
Chief executive Pradip Dhamecha (pictured) said: “We have been operating cash & carries in the London area for over 40 years, with seven branches in and around the M25.
“In 2015 we opened our first branch outside of the capital – in Leicester – our first foray into the Midlands area. It’s trading well.
“We are confident the Birmingham unit will replicate the success of the Leicester branch, as well as those in the London area.”
Dhamecha, with an annual turnover of £703 million, is the largest member of Today’s Group, headed by acting managing director John Schofield.
Tel: Dhamecha Foods 020-8903 8181
Kerry Foods has embarked on a roadshow to build on the success of the Fire & Smoke brand.
Featuring a variety of games, jukebox music and great food, the #PITSTOP campaign kicked off at Taste of London (14-18 June), and will visit Tough Mudder events in Yorkshire, Cheshire and Faygate, the Monster Truck UK Nationals and Boxpark in Shoreditch. The campaign will be supported with activity on Facebook and Instagram. Exclusive tool Insta-print will also be live at the events, allowing visitors to engage across several digital platforms.
Lauren Innes, brand manager of Fire & Smoke, comments: “We wanted to create an immersive and inviting space that connects our target audience with the roots of the Fire & Smoke brand, an area that brings to life the authentic taste of the product that is so deeply inspired by the Pitmaster Craft of the American Deep South.”
She adds: “We spent a long time selecting our destinations to ensure visibility in the places that resonate with our millennial target audience.”
The Fire & Smoke range includes cooked meats, bacon and snack pots, which come in a 50g format ideal for the on-the-go channel as they can be a grab-and-go option or incorporated into a meal deal.
Tel: Kerry Foods (01784) 430777
Kevin Ward (pictured), business unit director – impulse channel at Carlsberg UK, urges wholesalers to drive sales of the growing, higher value beer sub-categories.
Over 15% of Carlsberg UK sales are through the cash & carry/delivered wholesale trade, with steady growth coming from the retail symbol groups and independent caterers. We expect this to increase further now that the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) is in place and we welcome the new legislation and the positive response we have seen from all areas of the trade. As wholesalers expand their reach into foodservice and the on-trade, the boundaries are becoming more blurred and, as such, the traditional classifications are harder to measure.
How are you looking to develop your business through the wholesale trade?
The insight from SalesOut is becoming an increasingly important tool in driving distribution of our core lines, and the availability and ability to mine this information is hugely important to us.
What are the key trends in beers and lagers and do you find that C&Cs/delivered wholesalers act on these?
World, premium and craft beer are very ‘on trend’ as consumers look to trade up and treat or reward themselves with something a bit different. Cash & carries and delivered wholesalers know these trends are true but are slow to re-proportion their space in depots and promotions to drive this growth in line with other channels. The opportunity this represents is growing, and it also includes gluten-free, which is fast becoming a lifestyle choice.
How can cash & carries and delivered wholesalers improve their sales of beers and lagers?
Increase their category and brand knowledge so that they can confidently talk to their customers and depot teams about on-trend categories and brands. Review space allocation in the depot by category versus their respective contribution to sales.
Are there any cash & carries or delivered wholesalers you wish to highlight as being particularly progressive?
Over recent years, the wholesale sector has really upped its game. The big players see the independent sector as an ideal place to optimise the opportunities the different day parts represent in ‘food to go’ and ‘meal for tonight’. Equally impressive is that the smaller, more localised wholesalers are run by smart entrepreneurial people who are able to get their heads round changing cultural trends. The learnings when meeting with these people are invaluable in helping us at Carlsberg shape what we do.
Is there anything else our readers should know about Carlsberg UK?
We continue to focus on the core Carlsberg brand whilst accelerating the growth of San Miguel. We are leveraging the potential in the craft and speciality beer segment with our recent partnership with Brooklyn Beer, and we are seeking more draught beer dispense opportunities in the off-trade. Customer service remains a priority as we transition our distribution network over to DHL.
Less than three years after moving to larger premises, Birchall Foodservice has begun a further expansion programme.
At the start of 2015, it more than doubled the size of its Burnley headquarters when it purchased Cobalt House. However, with the business growing faster than predicted, it has now bought a 40,000 sq ft connecting site, which will take the combined land to 104,000 sq ft.
The two-acre plot currently houses an obsolete two-storey office/workshop complex, which will be demolished to make way for a warehouse expansion, with 20 staff added to the present 100.
In the short term, the surrounding land will help ease site congestion for visitor parking, along with the expanding delivery fleet.
Managing director Justin Birchall said: “Having more than doubled our warehouse space by relocating to this site only 30 months ago, we hadn’t predicted that our growth at this stage would be as big as it is.
“The adjacent site becoming available was extremely fortuitous. We are determined to develop this location into a productive facility benefiting the company, its employees and the community.”
The current turnover of the Country Range Group member is £24 million. In addition to Burnley, it has depots in Wrexham, Durham, Sheffield and Stafford.
Tel: Birchall Foodservice (01282) 429446