Palmer and Harvey has launched a scheme aimed at providing fully-tailored retail solutions for independents. The wholesale distributor said the Partnership Plus initiative focused on areas such as specialised category management, stock merchandising, expert business advice identifying new sales opportunities and exclusive promotional packages for big brand products.

The launch of Partnership Plus follows an in-depth strategic review of all aspects of the company’s business, with particular focus on strengthening its current offering to the independent retail market.

The company said that in response to the rising consumer trends towards convenience shopping, retailers subscribing to the scheme would benefit from a wide range of chilled foods such as ready meals and pizzas that would be available exclusively to Palmer and Harvey customers.

Retailers will also be offered administrative support – single integrated booking forms and invoices along with phone support offering advice on Partnership Plus.

Palmer and Harvey chief executive Chris Etherington said: “As the retail environment gets more competitive, it is vital that independent retailers strengthen their offering in order to efficiently compete and provide customers with real choice.

“Palmer and Harvey, through its position as the UK’s largest wholesale distributor, has the twin benefits of independence and experience with which to advise retailers on the best strategy to manage their businesses, drive sales and boost profitability."

In addition, Palmer and Harvey has bought WH & HM Young Limited ("Youngs"), which is a wholesale distributor located in Leeds and a member of Key Lekkerland. Palmer and Harvey said the move would give the company a distribution facility in Leeds which, following development, will be suitable for ambient and chilled ranges.