Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s second quarterly Back of Store feature of 2012, bringing you the latest news about the warehouse and logistics products and services for Britain’s multiple grocers and their supply chains, and customer case studies from the key suppliers of equipment and services.

As the stories on these pages show, the retailers are continuing to invest in infrastructure and services. As many wise people in the industry have said in the last few years, things have been tough, but consumers still go on shopping and the goods still have to be delivered, which means keeping up investment in the back of store.

Here at home, the latest news is that we now face a double dip recession. Even though the actual decline in the first quarter was only 0.2%, the effect is likely to be to put the brakes on consumer confidence and make shoppers rein in their spending even more. It means the multiple grocers must rely more than ever on their teams putting in a winning performance, to ensure the goods are there in store for those shoppers with the money left to buy them.

Many parts of the UK are seeing discount stores advancing in their high streets. But the punters who still have cash to spend – and there are plenty of them out there – are continuing to do so at their local multiple retailers, albeit doing it more cleverly than before. So that means product availability is even more important than ever. And achieving it comes down to food and drink logistics operations physically delivering the goods.

As the record consistently shows, we have some of the most efficient and dynamic supply chains in the world, particularly in the grocery retail sector. Like the products they deliver they need managing and replenishment, and equipping with the tools for the job and the services to support them.

As an example of the multiples’ commitment, Tesco has recently renewed its contract with Norbert Dentressangle for the management of 12 Recycling Service Units in the UK and Ireland. Tesco has also awarded them an additional contract to maintain its loose equipment fleet. Under the new agreement, Norbert Dentressangle will be responsible for servicing and maintaining over a million roll cages, plus trays, buckets and dollies. It’s all part of ensuring continued customer service. Long may it go on!

The Grocery Trader

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