Martin Lovell, Publishing Director, Cash & Carry Management

Tell us about your role at Cash & Carry Management

I run the commercial side of the operation. This involves building long-term relationships with clients, identifying new opportunities within the sector, and embarking on new projects, such as our CCM Chefs’ Own-Brand Awards, which are now in their third year and recognise and reward the best foodservice own-brand products available from cash & carries and delivered wholesalers.

Cash & Carry Management is the oldest publication targeting the channel - why do you think it has stood the test of time?

Our publication covers both the cash & carry and delivered wholesale markets. We have stood the test of time because we know our target audience, have the most established and experienced editorial and commercial teams in the sector, and actually care about the industry and its future. We evolve as the market evolves, and over 38 years we have built up trust with our readers. That is why we get more exclusive interviews with key wholesalers and suppliers.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities and threats for the channel in the upcoming year?

The biggest threats within the industry can also be opportunities, such as legislation like the sugar tax affecting sales of some soft drinks products while allowing newer lower-sugar lines to thrive. Our readership are brilliant at seeing market trends and moving quickly to maximise potential for themselves and their customers.

There is a lot of focus on digital and ecommerce with the wholesale channel, especially in light of the rapid growth of Amazon Business. What does this

mean for the traditional Cash & Carry, and what do they need to do to remain relevant?

Cash & carry still has its place when operators use technology wisely to enhance the customer experience. There are plenty of examples of cash & carry operators embracing ecommerce, such as by offering click & collect. Some are also using apps and beacon technology to make the cash & carry shop a more interactive and personalised experience.

What’s the most innovative in-dept activation you remember seeing?

The most innovative in-depot activation at the moment is United Wholesale Scotland’s ‘Warehouse of the Future’ in Glasgow. It features huge LED displays and LED rack ends, electronic shelf-edge displays, a Scan & Go operation, and an app that guides customers to the chosen products on their shopping list while also highlighting promotions.

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