HEADLINES THIS WEEK:
– LEICESTER FOR DHAMECHA’S EIGHTH BRANCH
– CIGARETTE THIEVES SENT TO PRISON
– RECORD TAKINGS AT FAIRWAY’S ‘MEET THE MEMBER’ EVENT
DHAMECHA MOVES OUT OF LONDON FOR EIGHTH BRANCH
Dhamecha Cash & Carry’s eighth branch – its first outside the Greater London area – will be a refurbished depot formerly occupied by Crown Crest, now largely associated with the Poundstretcher retail chain.
Situated in Cobden Street, Leicester, the multi-million-pound 140,000 sq ft site will include an 80,000 sq ft C&C and extensive parking and unloading areas. It is expected to be ready for trading by Christmas.
The C&C operator’s CEO Pradip Dhamecha said: “Our seven existing branches serve customers in London and the surrounding conurbations.
“We had been looking for a site in the central region of the country for some time. The Leicester site will enable us to continue the expansion of our company.
“We have a very well-established C&C business model which we will replicate at our new premises, with the prospect of bringing our strategy of great prices, excellent value and outstanding customer value to a whole new audience.”
Dhamecha turnover in the year to March 2014 was £628 million.
Talking exclusively to Cash & Carry Management about the sale of the Cobden Street site, Crown Crest finance director Hemant Patel said: “I can well see Dhamecha taking between £50 million and £60 million from the Leicester C&C, with the local Bestway branch facing stiff competition.
“The site had been on the market for about a year. It was something of a surprise when we found out that Dhamecha was the purchaser. But that makes no difference to us.
“While we used to be a force in cash & carry, our business now is very much in delivered wholesaling, conducted from our new 36-acre site in Kirby Muxloe, Leics.
“Our Poundstretcher business, with its head office in Huddersfield, has 410 branches.”
Dhamecha Cash & Carry 020-8903 8181
PRISON FOR CIGARETTE THIEVES
Three men have been imprisoned for a total of 30 years for stealing cigarettes worth thousands of pounds from retailers waiting to load their vehicles in cash & carry car parks.
Another man was awaiting sentence at Birmingham Crown Court as this issue of Cash & Carry Management went to press.
The C&C customers were targeted on around 20 occasions last September at depots in the Midlands area. They were finally caught after their stolen vehicle was seen at Costco’s Derby branch. They were apprehended by police after a car chase on the M42.
James Bielby, chief executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, which has for years been helping police catch C&C criminals by passing on intelligence, said: “Since this gang was caught, we have seen a marked decrease in reported incidents in the area.
“Theft from C&C customers is, fortunately, quite rare, but large quantities of cigarettes on display in car parks do tempt opportunist criminals.
“Our members are investing CCTV and security barriers and we issue posters and leaflets advising customers to take simple precautions while loading, such as not leaving their stock or their vehicle unattended.
“We encourage all C&C operators to report crime on their premises to our criminal intelligence database. This information helps to catch criminals and dissuades others from targeting C&C/wholesalers and their customers.”
The three convicted criminals are: John Gourlay, 41, of no fixed address (13 years and three months), Anton Richards, 29, of Birmingham (11 years) and Charlie Johnson, 19, of Birmingham (six years). The fourth gang member, Kyran Rooney, 19, of Woodley, Birmingham, is due to be sentenced on 7 May.
RECORD TAKINGS AT FAIRWAY FOODSERVICE SHOW
Fairway Foodservice’s recent bi-annual ‘Meet the Member’ event, held at Villa Park, Birmingham, over two days, resulted in deals valued at a record £832,000. This was £105,000 more than the previous high last year.
Now the 17-member wholesale group, with combined turnover of £556 million, is aiming for even bigger returns at its next get-together, taking place on 8-9 September. That would mean the total from the two events this year eclipsing the £1.3 million received in 2014.
Not only were takings well up at the Midlands show, but also 11 new grocery listings were secured and 15 frozen products added to Fairway’s own-label range, now numbering almost 600 lines.
Commenting on the figures, the group’s purchasing director Steve Jeavons said: “The £832,000 worth of concluded deals illustrates how valuable our Meet the Member events are to both members and suppliers.
“We’re planning on making our next event bigger and better than ever before. This will include more space and time for suppliers on the second day.”
Mars Food UK national account manager Emma Betts, who was present at the ‘Meet the Member’ show, said: “Attending these events is invaluable. They provide the perfect opportunity to see the Fairway Foodservice members, discuss priorities and plan for the months ahead.”
Tel: Fairway Foodservice (01422) 319100