front-010109.jpgHappy New Year, and welcome to the January Grocery Trader. We hope you are refreshed and in good health after Christmas. It’s time for New Year resolutions, so here is ours – to greet 2009 with a cheerful, positive attitude, whatever happens. These are hard times, all right, but like the companies whose news we report in the magazine, on our web site and in our email newsletter every month, we’re committed to winning through. In this lean but muscular issue, we’ve got interviews with Wing Yip, Project First Group and Dimplex. We’ve also got features on Baby & Kids, Baby & Kids and Ethnic Foods, plus all our regular sections.


Whatever the economy is doing, people still need to eat and drink. Chinese New Year can mean only one thing for the UK’s leading Oriental grocer, Wing Yip – business is brisk. We catch up with Mr Wing Yip, Chairman of Wing Yip PLC, the man behind the superstores and the retail brand that bear his name, to see how he is coping with the pressures affecting the retail sector and his plans for the year ahead.

In our second interview, Project First has enjoyed an unrivalled reputation as a specialist in retail refrigeration systems, engineering design, installation and support ever since Mark Stratford, former Tesco head of engineering, founded it in 2001.

Project First is commited to helping customers minimise their environmental impact by using ‘green’ technologies in refrigeration. In November the group began a new relationship with Green & Cool, the leading provider of ‘green’ refrigeration systems in the Nordic countries and Switzerland, whereby Project First has an exclusive two-year supply agreement with G&C for the UK and Ireland. It’s a major development for both companies. We speak to Richard Spurgeon, Sales & Marketing Director for Project First Group, and Matthew Reeves-Smith, Engineering Director.

With 60 years’ heritage of supplying high quality heating products, Dimplex Ltd is the market leader in electric space and other heating equipment. The Dimplex product range is the widest of its kind in the world and includes an extensive commercial heating portfolio, led by its highly acclaimed air curtains. Often taken for granted once installed, Dimplex’s commercial air curtains’ cost-effective, environmentally friendly and energy saving performance is enough to warm the heart of any retail finance director in the current climate, as the company’s Commercial Product Manager Phil Chilton tells us.

Have a happy January, and a successful 2009!

Charles Smith

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