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Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s second quarterly Back of Store feature of 2013, 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.

chazAs this feature shows, the UK’s major grocery retailers are continuing to invest in infrastructure and services for their supply chains.

We have stories here about Berry Systems installing safety barriers at the new Co-op RDC, Schoeller Allibert applying aerospace technology to Returnable Transit Packaging and Union Industries’s High Speed Bulldoors ensuring business is sweet at Rowse Honey. We also hear from such leading companies as Combilift, Crown Materials Handling, Toshiba TEC, Castell Safety and Mitsubishi Forklifts about how they are providing innovative warehousing and logistics solutions to the food and drink industry.

Tesco’s recent decision to withdraw from the US highlights the vulnerability of expansion plans in the face of stormy global economic conditions and the fact that companies who are seemingly infallible in their home markets – in Tesco’s case, the UK and Europe – may not always be able to work the same magic in other territories.

Meanwhile here at home it’s business as usual. We have been spared for the time being from the nightmare of a triple dip recession. Chancellor George Osborne insists the economy is healing: we all want to believe that the treatment is working and consumer confidence will soon return.
The UK boasts 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 we all know things remain tough, but consumers go on shopping and the goods still have to be delivered, which means keeping up investment in the back of store.

The UK’s 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. So that means product availability is even more important than ever. And achieving it comes down to the multiple grocers’ logistics operations physically delivering the goods. Here’s to them continuing to do so, working in partnership with the warehouse equipment, IT and logistics services suppliers.

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