SimplyFresh was in talks with Waitrose as a potential replacement supply partner in the wake of Big 4 grocer Sainsbury’s dropping out on its wholesale operations last year.
According to The Grocer, SimplyFresh spoke to the retailer, which is continuing to expand its wholesale arm, shortly after the Big 4 grocer’s move, but the parties did not come to an agreement.
Sainsbury’s decided to pull the plug on the partnership last July, at a time where there were five SimplyFresh stores in the supplied-by-Sainsbury’s model, although it had a target of signing up 30 retailers to the format by the end of the year.
The remainder of the 90-plus SimplyFresh portfolio continued to be supplied via Costcutter, which is owned by Bestway.
However, it still uses Nisa’s supply chain.
“Following Sainsbury’s termination of their worldwide wholesale business, SimplyFresh assessed the market for alternative supply partners,” SimplyFresh told The Grocer.
“All these discussions have been subjected to mutual non-disclosure agreements and as such we cannot comment further other than to say SimplyFresh and SimplyLocal stores are supplied by Bestway Wholesale and Nisa.”
This comes as Waitrose recently agreed to supply Dobbies garden centres, which had previously worked with Sainsbury’s.
Waitrose will now provide Dobbies customers with a range of high-quality food, grocery products and everyday essentials in over 50 garden centres across the UK.