Booker’s efforts to quell the fears of its convenience store operators over the new Tesco merger have started on a positive note following yesterday’s meeting in Glasgow.
The shock deal announced last week in which Britain’s largest supermarket revealed plans to combine its network with supply chain giant Booker will see a combined network consisting of over 8000 convenience stores.
Many of the independent retailers which fall under Booker’s vast supply network, including brands Premier, Budgens and Londis, were sceptical about the deal.
However, according to The Times, Booker chief executive Charles Wilson and managing director Steve Fox have succeeded in winning over cynics in their network, with one independent shop owner describing Wilson as a “goose that lays golden eggs”.
“Let’s just put it this way: by the end of the meeting some of the shopkeepers who attended were taking selfies with Charles Wilson,” Premier Broadway convenience store owner Linda Williams told The Times.
“He took questions for at least an hour and a half and it was clear he is extremely confident and excited about this deal.
“And when he talked about the benefits for us from the deal, that got us quite excited about it, as well.”
Wilson and Fox reportedly assured operators how the companies would work separately but under an umbrella group, as well as stating Tesco convenience stores were unlikely to compete with them in smaller rural areas.
Bank charges were also a key point for the independent retailers, as Tesco’s bank offered its own benefits.