North West Wholesale has taken over the retail business of Forrest Fresh Foods.
Explaining the decision to stop supplying independent retailers, Forrest’s commercial director Mark Craven said: “After over 15 years of building a fantastic retail division we feel this no longer fits with the direction of Forrest and have therefore given the opportunity to a reputable company whose growth plans fit best with our expansion at Forrest and our retail customers.”
Sugro member North West Wholesale, headed up by managing director Tom Lumsden, is now responsible for over 1,000 customers previously serviced by Forrest. Located in Burscough in Lancashire, North West Wholesale is an independently-owned delivered wholesale business serving independent retailers, convenience stores and other food outlets.
Craven said: “We are fully supporting Tom and his team with stock etc to make the transition run as smoothly as possible. We will also be passing on all new customers that approach us and fall into the smaller retail remit. We are however still delivering nationally to our large retail customers.
“We are thrilled about this collaboration as we know it will be best suited to our customers and beneficial for both companies,” Craven added. “We would like to wish Tom and the team at North West Wholesale every success for the future.”
Forrest Fresh Foods is a family-run company supplying soft drinks, confectionery, toiletries, household goods, groceries, pet care and alcohol to customers that include large wholesalers, nationally contracted companies and large export and international contracts. Based in Rochdale, Forrest has additional depots in Greater Manchester, Romford, London and Bedlington, and is on target to achieve sales of more than £60 million this year.
Craven explained that Forrest has decided to concentrate more on central distribution partnerships with manufacturers and will be launching its own products in 2022. It is also seeing growth in the overseas, discounter and national wholesale channels, and is pushing www.megaretailer.com “to new heights”, with a new option for consumers to buy single units.