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Business Overview

Booker Group is the UK’s leading food wholesaler. The Group now comprises Booker Wholesale, Makro, Booker Direct, Classic Drinks, Ritter Courivaud, Chef Direct, Premier, Family Shopper, Budgens, Londis and Booker India. Together we are privileged to serve 1.5 million customers.

Booker Wholesale

The Company is the UK's largest cash and carry operator, offering branded and private-label goods which are sold to over 503,000 customers including independent convenience stores, grocers, leisure outlets, pubs and restaurants. The Company currently lists circa 18,000 product lines, comprising an extensive range of branded and own label grocery, fresh and frozen food, beers, wines, spirits, tobacco and non-food items. In the year to March 2014, sales totalling £3.4 billion were collected by the customer from the group’s branches and sales totalling £1.3 billion were delivered to the Company’s customer premises.

In 2014, the Company was awarded "Green Wholesaler of the Year" at the Grocer Gold Awards, sponsored by the industry journal "The Grocer". We have achieved this award for three consecutive years.

The Group currently trades from 172 branches in the UK. The average size of these branches is approximately 47,000 sq ft, although the Company has four branches over 100,000 sq ft and 12 branches under 20,000 sq ft.

Makro

Makro operates 30 stores across the UK, one of the stores being in Belfast. It currently operates a primarily cash-and carry wholesale business. Makro offers a broad range of non-food items, such as stationery and office equipment, furniture and furnishings, catering and cleaning equipment, clothing and general maintenance products.

Booker Direct

Booker Direct is the Group’s delivered wholesale business which serves retail national accounts. It has already established itself as the UK's largest food supplier to the cinema sector with customers including Odeon and Cineworld. Other accounts include HM Prisons in England & Wales (in partnership with DHL) and Marks & Spencer.

Booker India

In September 2009 we opened our first business centre in Mumbai. We serve over 21,000 customers and have also launched 200 Happy Shopper symbol retailers which harness the lessons learned from Premier in the UK for the Kirana stores of Mumbai. We now have 4 branches in Mumbai, one in Surat and one joint venture in Pune.

Distribution Centres

The Group operates three regional distribution centres, Hatfield and Haydock in England and Livingston in Scotland, and has a national distribution centre in Wellingborough. These distribution centres supply Booker Wholesale and two of them also handle retail deliveries.

Caterers

As at 27 March 2015, the Group had approximately 468,000 catering customers, including pubs, restaurants, leisure facilities and catering outlets.

Retailers

As at 27 March 2015, the Group had over 125,000 retail customers. The Group offers its independent retail customers the opportunity to trade under its Premier, Family Shopper, Budgens and Londis brands which provide the benefits of a national symbol group whilst retaining the personality and entrepreneurial spirit of the independent retailer. Currently there are over 3,200 Premier branded stores in the UK, 47 retail discount stores operating under the Family Shopper brand, over 1,500 convenience stores under the Londis brand and over 120 convenience and mid-sized stores operating under the Budgens brand in Great Britain.

Product Range

The Group sells an extensive range of grocery, tobacco, alcoholic products and other products used by its customers , who are predominantly independent retailers and caterers. In the year to 28 March 2014 tobacco sales were £1.5 billion (32 per cent of total sales for the year) and sales of other products totalled £3.2 billion (68 per cent of total sales for the year).

Brands

The Group owns a number of "own label" brands including:

  • Catering brands – Chef’s Larder and Lichfields;
  • Wine, spirit and tobacco brands – Malt House Vinters and Chekov; and
  • Retail own label – Happy Shopper and Euro Shopper.

Euro Shopper is a brand that the Group is licensed to use in the United Kingdom. The existing licence runs until 2017.

Internet

Sales at booker.co.uk were £874m, up from £777m last year and £15m in 2005. All these sales are delivered to our customer’s premises. We have 410,000 customers registered on the website compared to 334,000 last year. Customers can view their account details, use an Iphone app and order products. We have also doubled the number of stock keeping units available to a typical customer on the website through our special order system. This has generated incremental sales of £4m.

Employees

The Company employs approximately 13,000 employees. The Group is an equal opportunities employer and the Directors believe that the Group’s people are the key to the future of its business and intends to continue to develop them at all levels of the business.

We have also made good progress with Group Accounts, such as Enterprise Group and Rick Stein, where we serve these accounts from Booker and Makro.

Our Chef Direct business, which serves national accounts from our distribution centre in Didcot, has also had a good year serving clients including Byron Burgers, Carluccios, Prezzo, Aramark and Wagamama.

Retailers

We serve 94,000 independent retailers. Our largest retail customers tend to be our Premier, Londis, Budgens and Family Shopper symbol club members. We also serve our retail club members, unaffiliated independents and retail national accounts.

Premier

Premier, Booker’s symbol group, grew to 3,306 stores (3,213 stores last year). The retail development team has put a lot of work into building the sales and profits of existing Premier stores. Premier was voted the best symbol group by consumers at the CTP Awards.

Premier operates a no cost model for members, and has the advantage for retailers of providing deliveries and also the ability to top-up at their local Booker branch. We install the fascia and imagery free of charge and also provide a market leading promotion every four weeks. All goods are delivered at cash and carry prices.

Family Shopper

We continue to develop Family Shopper, a local discount format. This is doing well. At May 2017, we have 63 stores and the response to this format has been encouraging.

Budgens & Londis

On 14 September 2015 Budgens and Londis joined the Group. Budgens serves 156 retailers. The Budgens consumer is typically ABC1. Londis serves 1,850 retailers with approximately 49% of consumers being ABC1. Since completion of the acquisition, the teams at Budgens and Londis have “joined forces” with the Group. They have embraced the Booker approach to cash, customer satisfaction and health & safety. In the year we have opened a net 381 Londis and 6 Budgens outlets. As a result the sales have grown strongly.

Budgens and Londis were acquired for £40m and, to March 2017, in relation to this acquisition we have generated net cash of c.£42m.

Thanks to a lot of hard work by our IT and central colleagues, we have integrated the Londis/Budgens systems into the Booker platforms. All the teams have done a fantastic job of growing both brands. It is a credit to our teams and the wonderful retailers we serve via Premier, Londis, Budgens, Family Shopper, Shop Locally and all our other retailers that we have seen strong growth.

Booker Direct

Booker Direct serves national retail chains from our distribution centres with customers including Marks & Spencer, most of the cinema chains in the UK and the prison service in England and Wales. Together the Group can now serve any independent retailer, Group Accounts and National Chains throughout the UK.

Digital

Sales at booker.co.uk were £1,072m, up from £979m last year and £15m in 2005. All these sales are delivered to our customers’ premises. We have 569,000 customers registered on the website compared to 490,000 last year. Customers can view their account details and order products. There are double the number of stock keeping units available to a typical customer on the website through our special order system.

Ritter-Courivaud

Ritter-Courivaud is a speciality foods supplier to the UK’s leading restaurants. Ritter had a good year growing sales through the Makro business centres and direct to customers.

Booker India

In September 2009 we opened our first business centre in Mumbai. We now have four branches in Mumbai, one in Surat and one joint venture branch in Pune. These serve 21,000 customers, and have also launched 200 Happy Shopper symbol retailers which harness the lessons learned from Premier in the UK for the Kirana stores of Mumbai. We continue to review growth options in India and look forward to developing the Booker offer to become the best choice, price and service supplier to Kirana stores and caterers.

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