Today’s news that Tesco is to buy Booker in a £3.7 billion deal is a shot in the arm for independent convenience retailing, said NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter.

“The NFRN is cautiously positive about this move as hopefully it will result in investment in Booker and keener pricing in its wholesale depots.

“Tesco’s investment reinforces the NFRN’s belief about the importance of the convenience retailing sector as customers shun weekly shops in favour of buying little and often at their local stores.”

The newly created group have pledged to:

  • help independent retailers, caterers and small businesses by further improving choice, price and service, with enhanced digital and delivery service options
  • serve better the faster growing ‘out of home’ food market
  • present a broader market opportunity for suppliers, with strong growth prospects and a clear opportunity to develop better own brand and fresh ranges
  • cut food waste and increase efficiency by creating a broader, multi-channel partner who can work with producers across their full agricultural crop
  • create significant opportunities for synergies whilst retaining market-leading retail and wholesale expertise
  • create attractive innovation opportunities to serve customers and consumers better in a rapidly evolving market place

Commenting on today’s announcement, Dave Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Tesco said: “Tesco has made significant progress in turning around our UK retail business. This Merger with Booker will further enhance Tesco’s growth prospects by creating the UK’s leading food business with combined expertise in retail, wholesale, supply chain and digital. Wherever food is prepared and eaten – ‘in home’ or ‘out of home’ – we will meet this opportunity with the widest choice and best service available.”

Booker Chief Executive Officer Charles Wilson added: “Booker is committed to improving choice, prices and service for the independent retailers, caterers and small businesses that we are proud to serve. We believe that joining forces with Tesco offers the potential to bring major benefits to end consumers, our customers, suppliers, colleagues and shareholders.”

For more information download the Tesco & Booker merger presentation here

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