Seizing new opportunities in the wholesale industry
It’s onwards and upwards for the Barry Group as they bring new developments to their wholesale business and expand their national team.
Managing director Jim Barry tells IF&CR how they plan to evolve this side of the business in 2019.
“We have a long history in the wholesale business. However in recent years we’ve noticed a lot more interest amongst our customers in our wholesaling division, separate to the symbol side of the business. In the last couple of years, we’ve put more effort and interest into the wholesale part of our business than ever before, and had a really successful year last year.
“We made a strategic decision this year to put a lot more resources into our independent wholesale division, which is predominantly targeting independent retailers. In regards to how we’ve expanded our national team, we’ve recruited four extra people into our team, and are expecting considerable growth in the future.
“We’re responding to the high demand of enquiries from customers, and putting in extra resources to meet these demands. The great thing about this is that it acts as a synergy to ourselves. We have a very broad range of products, so we can bring a wider range of products and a more extensive offering to independent retailers who might find it difficult to access an array of products from one source and have to do so from a range of different wholesalers. We aim to provide a service that means retailers are able to satisfy all their needs with one supplier.
“This development means we can make price management easier for independent retailers, and also means we can offer consistency. Due to the fact that we have our own warehouse and operate our own logistics, we would have a very good consistency of floor stock for our retailers, so our service level would be a lot higher than what retailers are normally expecting. In regards to delivery, it is much easier getting a delivery from one wholesaler rather than four or five, so in this way we are cutting out a lot of hassle and unnecessary costs for our retailers too.
“In terms of specific areas of growth, as a company we now operate our own chill warehouse. We’ve expanded our head office and opened our own chill warehouse in Mallow in Cork, so we now have the option of combining chilled services with ambient deliveries. This has enhanced our chilled offering significantly and expanded our range because we’re doing a lot of it ourselves.
“We traditionally have a very good reputation with value for money with ambient, and believe this is one of our key strengths. As a company we also have a particular strength with alcohol. We have a very large alcohol business, so in general we can offer better value to independent retailers and a very wide range of alcoholic beverages.”
With fluctuating changes in our economy competition is stiff amongst suppliers and wholesalers. Nevertheless, the Barry Group move forward investing in strengths that make them stand out from the crowd.
“We put a lot of investment in training our staff, and have a very professional team of sales people. We also operate our own logistics, which enables us to provide reliable delivery services with a high service level.
“This is a huge investment, but we have our infrastructure for the warehouse already in place and confidence in our independently run logistics.
“We’re expecting growth of 20 percent in 2019 from a wholesale perspective. When you put all of the parts of our business together, it gives a really great strength to our wholesale division. It’s a much broader offering compared to other suppliers because of the synergy and all the other strengths we have at play.
“For independent retailers, if you can access the range you need from one supplier at a competitive price, then we’re confident it will be a win-win situation for all.”