Following the announcement of their plans to merge earlier this week, the managing directors of Landmark Wholesale and Today’s Group have been keen to reassure retailers about their future plans.

“Both buying groups have their own fascias – Today’s Extra, Today’s Local, Today’s Express, Today’s Drinks, Day Today, Day Today Express, Lifestyle Express, Lifestyle Extra and Lifestyle Value – which have been invested in by our retailers and wholesale members to create contemporary store formats that satisfy the needs of their customers on a daily basis,” said Darren Goldney and John Mills in a joint statement.

“We would like to reassure these retailers that the fascias will continue as they are, however they will benefit from the support of a stronger, scaled-up group working closely with suppliers to do an even better job.”

Earlier this week the boards of both groups unanimously agreed to put a proposal to merge to a vote by their members. The new company would be called Unitas Wholesale.

“We believe that consolidation is narrowing the options for suppliers and potentially threatening the future of independent businesses as multiple chains expand into the wholesale channel,” said Darren Goldney, managing director of Today’s Group.

“This merger acts to ensure the sustainable and future success of our members, many of whom have a multi-generation legacy of service to independent businesses, be they convenience stores, catering outlets or many of the other businesses we serve.”

John Mills, managing director of Landmark Wholesale, added: “As member-owned organisations and in line with the principles of ‘every business matters, no matter how big or small’, the two groups will decide whether to progress with the proposed merger via a full membership vote process by 6 September.

“Following this date, we will enter into a period of consultation and selection with the management and staff of both groups to create the structure to support Unitas Wholesale. We would expect the transaction to formally complete by November 2018.”