Morrisons axes wholesale deals with independent shops

Morrisons will stop delivering goods to independent retailers after struggling to source delivery drivers.

The supermarket, which spent £6 million last year to “accelerate” its wholesale business, will close the accounts tomorrow.

“Due to the national driver shortage, we’re prioritising our contracted customers and have temporarily suspended sales for a very small number – fewer than 10 – of our ad-hoc customers,” a Morrisons spokesman told The Grocer.

“We’re working hard with our partners to resolve this as soon as we can.

READ MOREMorrisons brings back glass milk bottles to 11 stores

“This doesn’t affect any of our other services, for example to food banks, charities, local authorities and wholesalers, as well as contracted wholesale customers.”

McColl’s, which Morrisons is contracted to supply until 2027, will reportedly be unaffected by the move.

The Big 4 grocer’s wholesale business grew by 21 per cent last quarter after extending its supply deal to an extra 230 McColl’s stores.

Morrisons’ deal with Unitas, to provide 166 Safeway-branded products, will also be unchanged.

Earlier this month, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) warned that the UK had a “catastrophic” shortfall of 70,000 delivery drivers.

Although the government recently raised the HGV apprenticeship funding to £7000, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said it “barely scratches the surface of the problem”.

SupermarketsSymbol GroupsWholesalers

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