Benson sets up wholesale consultancy

The former boss of Scotland’s Bellevue cash and carry group has teamed up with an ex-Scottish & Newcastle sales executive to form a new consultancy business.

Wholesale Matters will aim to help manufacturers and suppliers build better relationships with their wholesale and specialist retail customers.

Graham Benson was joint owner and managing director of Edinburgh-based Bellevue before it was sold to Bestway last year. He has joined forces with Richard Yates, who has run his own sales company, Flair Factor, since leaving S&N five years ago. The pair hope their new business will give suppliers first-hand insights into improving their operational effectiveness in the wholesale market.

“With my 30-plus years’ experience as a wholesaler and cash and carry operator dealing with suppliers, coupled with Richard’s vast knowledge of how suppliers operate, we are ideally placed to help both sectors re-evaluate their businesses,” said Benson, who added that alcohol would be an area of focus for the business.

“Some of the major suppliers have taken all their business to the multiples but the independent off-trade used to have a massive share of their business and still could have with the right approach,” he said. “I’ve worked with some very progressive suppliers who were willing to work very closely with us as a wholesaler, almost with a joint business plan, but there were others who didn’t want to come on the journey with us.”?Yates added: “While offering our services to food and drink companies, we will also be targeting suppliers in other industries.”