Booker/Tesco deal creates opportunities for pubs

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Joining together: the merger is on track to complete early next year
Joining together: the merger is on track to complete early next year

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The merger of foodservice wholesaler Booker and supermarket Tesco will mean pubs will have an improved choice, quality, price and service, according to the Booker chief executive.

The £3.7bn deal was announced in January​ and the companies claimed the move would provide better availability of food and help independent small businesses by further improving choice, price and service, with enhanced digital and delivery service options.

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said: “We have made significant progress in turning around our UK retail business.

“This merger with Booker will further enhance Tesco’s growth prospects by creating the UK’s leading food business with combined expertise in retail, wholesale, supply chain and digital.”

Fast track

In June this year, the foodservice wholesaler urged the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) to “fast track”​ the review into the merger.

Booker boss Charles Wilson told The Morning Advertiser​: “By joining forces with Tesco, it will help us improve the choice, quality, price and service for the customers [including pubs] we serve.

“We can do some ready meal development, which Booker hasn’t been able to do. With pricing, we can become a more efficient businesses and pass some of that back to the customers.

He said the merger was still on track with the CMA and he expects to hear back on the initial findings at the end of this month (October) and then a final view by December, so it is on track to complete in early 2018.

Future plans

He outlined how Booker is hoping to expand even further by offering its customers the chance to order on the go.

Wilson said: “If customers can pay with an app like PayQwiq (Tesco payment app), which is a tap and pay solution that could work really well for pubs and allows Tesco consumers to redeem their clubcard points.

“So there are all sorts of exciting opportunities we see as being part of the larger group, which will allow us to offer a better choice, quality, price and service to our customers and, therefore, help them grow.”

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