Booker Group is the UK’s leading food wholesaler. The Group now comprises Booker Wholesale, Makro, Booker Direct, Classic Drinks, Ritter Courivaud, Chef Direct and Booker India. Together we are privileged to serve 1.5 million customers.
The Company is the UK's largest cash and carry operator, offering branded and private-label goods which are sold to over 486,000 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 2013, sales totalling £2.8 billion were collected by the customer from the group’s branches and sales totalling £1.2 billion were delivered to the Company’s customer premises.
In June 2013, the Company was awarded "Wholesaler of the Year" and "Green Wholesaler of the Year" by The Grocer magazine.
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.
It operates 30 stores across the UK, one of the stores being in Belfast. Makro currently operates a primarily cash-and carry wholesale business, with a small delivered service that was introduced in 2009. Unlike Booker Makro offers a broad range of non-food items, such as stationery and office equipment, furniture and furnishings, catering and cleaning equipment, clothing, general maintenance products and electrical appliances.
Booker Direct is the Group’s delivered wholesale business which serves national accounts UK-wide. It has already established itself as the UK's largest food supplier to the cinema sector with customers including VUE and Odeon. Other accounts include HM Prisons in England & Wales (in partnership with DHL), Marks and Spencer and the NAAFI, as well as the more recent additions of SSP, HMV, and WH Smith Travel Ltd.
In September 2009 we opened our first business centre in Mumbai. We now have 12,000 customers and the customer reaction has been excellent. We have also launched 185 Happy Shopper symbol retailers which harness the lessons from Premier in the UK for the Kirana stores of Mumbai. In 2011 we opened our first joint venture business centre in Pune. Our partner in Pune is Satnam Arora, who has expertise which compliments our own. We now have 3 branches in Mumbai and one joint venture in Pune. We anticipate opening a further two branches in 2013/14.
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.
As at 29 March 2013, the Group had approximately 341,000 catering customers, including pubs, restaurants, leisure facilities and catering outlets.
As at 29 March 2013, the Group had over 86,000 retail customers. The Group offers its independent retail customers the opportunity to trade under its Premier brand which provides the benefits of a national symbol group whilst retaining the personality and entrepreneurial spirit of the independent retailer. The Group will typically subsidise the fit out of the store's fascia, signage and other imagery in return for certain minimum spend contracts. At 29 March 2013, there were over 2,802 Premier branded stores in the UK.
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 29 March 2013 tobacco sales were £1.5 billion (38 per cent of total sales for the year) and sales of other products totalled £2.5 billion (62 per cent of total sales for the year).
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.
Sales at booker.co.uk were £704m, up from £635m last year and £15m in 2005. All these sales are delivered to our customer’s premises. We have 255,000 customers registered on the website compared to 170,000 last year. Customers can view their account details, use an Iphone app and order products. We have also developed our first customer forum for Premier customers.
The Company employed approximately 9,658 employees as at 29 March 2013. 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.