Main Shop Increase Prompts Reduced Frequency in Depot vs Pre-Pandemic

There has been a notable uptick in wholesale visits that a driven by the main shop mission, across retail and foodservice, as shown by the latest Lumina Intelligence’s Wholesale Market report.

The main shop mission has indeed become the most popular among retailers and it has grown in importance over time, as the current economic outlook prompts retailers to avoid regular small purchases and opt for bigger top-up missions to mitigate the impact of the increasing costs. Playing into this trend, promo weeks and event days are being used to drive footfall and build loyalty.

“Worsening cost pressures are prompting behavioural changes in wholesale customers. Both retailers and foodservice operators are opting for bigger, main shops to maximise savings. Lumina expects cost pressures to increase into the Winter months with a looming recession threatening a tough period, especially for the foodservice market,” commented Insights Manager Katherine Prowse.

Growth in main shops, particularly for cash and carry visits, has driven a decline in frequency in 2022. Retailer cash and carry frequency has declined by -10%, whilst foodservice cash and carry frequency is down -13% as operators manage costs. Within this overall decline, 19% of independents are visiting the wholesaler depot / Cash & Carry more frequently to avoid paying for delivery

Foodservice focused wholesalers are expected to see strong growth as the sector recovers, whilst traditional wholesalers’ turnover growth slows following bumper 2020. Hybrid wholesaler Morrisons is expected to have grown its wholesale business by more than half from 2019 2022, following the acquisition of McColl’s convenience business.