Bibendum PLB stengthens play for UK

Gareth Groves, managing director Walker & Wodehouse Wines (Independent retailers)

GG Headshot“The independent sector is not immune to the wider pressures on the market and we are very likely to see further consolidation amongst distributors going forward. As the overall wine market has stalled in the UK, growth has been harder to come by for many businesses and consolidation obviously allows companies to pool resources and expertise to accelerate their plans for growth.

“It will be interesting to see if some distributors who are struggling to make headway with the multiple grocers – as the latter reduce their ranges and supply base – decide to focus more on the independent sector. If so, the added competition could hasten more consolidation over the next year or two.

“We are also likely to see some consolidation amongst independent retailers and regional wholesalers. It is a vibrant sector and we expect to see some of the better performing companies look to expand their sales and reach quickly through mergers and acquisitions.”

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