Confex is bouncing back after losing 23 members to the newly-formed NBC (National Buying Consortium) last year (Cash & Carry Management: June 2019).
That blow was balanced by the addition of 20 wholesalers, including the most recent, DW Carlisle Wholesale in Crossgar, Northern Ireland. Including these, the group enlisted 39 new members in the whole of last year.
Tom Gittins, who took over from his mother Nicky White as managing director late last year, spelled out some of the plans to an audience of around 100 suppliers attending a one-day conference in London.
Gittins told Cash & Carry Management: “We are, numerically, the largest of all the buying groups, with 209 members and combined turnover of £2.13 billion. “We remain ahead of the market, driving innovation and sales growth through digital. Our members have access to a free app tailored to their business and we continue to look into how to work even closer with our suppliers through data sharing and EDI.”
Delegates at the event also heard about the part being played by White Logistics, Confex’s central distribution warehousing and logistics partner. “They remain a key part of our growth plans, with a move to become a central distribution facility for the wholesale industry,” said Gittins. “Our central distribution has been in operation for 12 years and now offers ranges from 60 suppliers.”
Some 160,000 sq ft of White Logistics’ Pinvin, Worcs, site is utilised by Confex, with the group having the option to make use of a further 60,000 sq ft in the future.