Landmark Wholesale explores new horizons

New horizons conference

‘New Horizons’ was the theme for Landmark Wholesale’s 2018 annual conference, which was held recently (May 22 to 25, 2018) in Alicante.

The conference was attended by a mix of members and new and existing suppliers. The business sessions kicked off with John Mills, Landmark Wholesale Managing Director, highlighting the challenges facing the sector and the emerging consumer trends that Landmark and its members need to be focusing on, working closely with suppliers.

Delegates heard from Landmark members, such as Jason Barnard and Guy Swindell from Parfetts, who outlined the expansion of Gold (Go Local Direct) which has seen Parfetts’ Sheffield site turn into a 24-hour business: cash and carry during the day, picking and delivery operation by night.

Delegates were challenged by Elit Rowland, founder of Women in Wholesale, to think about how they attract and retain first-class talent in the wholesale sector. Peppi Cremona of Accolade Wines and Robin Martin from Coca Cola European Partners encouraged delegates to seek out new horizons either personally or for their businesses.

James Lowman, CEO of ACS, hosted a panel session (pictured) with James Bielby, Chief Executive FWD; Jill Livesey, MD HIM; Matt Goddard, Wholesale Trading Director PepsiCo International, UK and Ireland and Marcus Singh, Director, Hyperama. The panel answered questions on a variety of issues such as price-marked pack shared margins, use of data, social media and the clear need for improved collaborative working.

For the first time, a Lifestyle Express retailer addressed the conference. Kilbirnie-based Raj Kaur shared the challenges and successes of running a full neighbourhood store in close proximity to plenty of local competition.

Guest speakers this year were Levi Roots, creator of Reggae Reggae Sauce, who shared his story from the Notting Hill Carnival via Dragons Den to running a £60m business. And finally, presenter of the This Week and Daily Politics shows, Andrew Neil provided a thought-provoking analysis of the UK’s political and economic landscape.