The merger of Doncaster-headquartered Today’s Wholesale and with Landmark Wholesale has completed, creating Unitas Wholesale.
It will be the UK’s largest food and drink wholesale buying group, supporting around 180 independent wholesalers who in turn support thousands of independent retailers and small businesses. The Unitas Central Office will be located at the current Today’s Group head office in Doncaster.
Darren Goldney, who was the managing director at Today’s Group, will be the MD of the newly formed Unitas Wholesale. He said: “Through enhanced scale and capability, Unitas will be the sustainable wholesale business partner for its supplier base, creating an alternative route to market in the face of the consolidation that is taking place within the wholesale sector.”
Both groups have been through a period of consultation and selection with management and staff and can now confirm the structure to support Unitas.
Goldney added: “We are excited about the opportunities that Unitas will bring and glad that we have got to this stage quickly and smoothly.
“The efficiency of having access to greater scale with less points of contact demonstrates independent wholesale is organising itself for the future. With that increased scale, the best practices that both organisations bring will also make our sales efforts more effective.
“Examples include a tighter, more focused own label range; a broader offering of central services that reduce costs for wholesalers and grows the footprint of sales; core range schemes that reach beyond the enlarged symbol estate, and the development of promotional execution processes that improve return on investment.”
Current 2018 joint business agreements between the two groups and suppliers will remain in place until the end of the calendar year. The new Unitas Wholesale trading team will begin discussions with suppliers regarding 2019 from 1 December with operational alignment occurring throughout 2019 via a process of integration.
Goldney added: “The creation of Unitas Wholesale offers an incredible opportunity to support independent businesses and enable them to thrive. Unitas will also create a new and exciting opportunity for suppliers, independent wholesalers and the thousands of independent businesses that we collectively serve.”
It was announced in August that both Boards unanimously agreed to take a proposal to merge both groups to a wider voting process for approval by their members.