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.
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 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 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 Vue, Odeon and Cineworld. Other accounts include HM Prisons in England & Wales (in partnership with DHL) and Marks & Spencer.
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.
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 27 March 2015, the Group had approximately 468,000 catering customers, including pubs, restaurants, leisure facilities and catering outlets.
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.
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).
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 £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.
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.