Expansion is on the cards for Bidfresh-owned Oliver Kay Produce, chief executive Stephen Oswald told delegates at FPJ Live.
Speaking in the Beyond the Supermarkets session at The Belfry event earlier this month, Oswald said that the Bolton-based wholesaler was extending its reach to occupy a new site in Birmingham, while it was also looking to take advantage of a gap in the country west of London. However, he also highlighted the potential complications such growth can bring.
“It’s very difficult, breaking the business apart and expanding in this way, because you can lose control of what’s going on and you end up with the wrong management structure in place, unable to serve customers in the right way,” he explained. “So this expansion is a very sensitive and delicate process.”
Oswald also noted that Oliver Kay was looking at a “London solution” to expand the business further. “For produce, our weakest area is London,” he admitted, “and we need to do some work to stretch into what is a large and important market for us and our produce business.”
Currently, only 25 per cent of Bidfresh’s business is dedicated to fresh produce, but Oswald anticipated this changing in the future. “We have lots and lots of growing to do when it comes to fresh produce,” he said.
All about the experience
Borough Market managing director Darren Henaghan told FPJ Live that his market has tapped into a greater demand for experience and atmosphere to attract visitors. “There has been a shift. Shoppers want to go out, enjoy themselves, have a bite to eat and maybe buy some unusual products,” he explained. Henaghan also noted that value was crucial for visitors. “People are not so worried about price, but they want to ensure they are getting value for the products they are buying.”