Opening channels

IT’S time for wholesalers to harness technology to address the changing face of local and convenience retailing and Batleys is determined to embrace the future, according to Bestway Batleys Wholesale’s Regional Controller for Scotland David Livingstone.

Bestway Batleys Wholesale’s Regional Controller for Scotland David Livingstone.

“Convenience retail is changing with more and more consumers shopping more frequently and using convenience stores for more than just topping up,” he said.

“Shoppers’ expectations are higher than ever and they will shop wherever these are best met. Great availability, speed of service and offering solutions that satisfy them now and for the next 24 hours is vital.

“Coffee and food to go for now, fresh pizza and salad for tonight are just examples of how convenience is changing and retailers have to be ready to meet these changes.

“As wholesalers we have a responsibility to arm our customers with the products to help them compete. We need to stop talking about what the key drivers in convenience are and start to offer solutions so retailers can take advantage.

“Batleys investment in own-label chilled fruit and veg and fresh meat and poultry under the Best-in brand shows that we want to help retailers get involved in new categories, especially since many of the traditional categories associated with independent stores are under margin attack.

“Wholesale is also about meeting customers as well as consumers’ needs.

“Retailers are extremely busy and we need to offer them the opportunity to do business whenever they choose.

“It’s all about offering them greater flexibility. It’s about becoming more omni-channel and offering retailers a host of ways to trade with us.

“Batleys Scotland is already ahead of the curve in this respect with its web portal, mobile app and network of business development executives,” he argued.