Sub-retailing back on the industry agenda

1st April 2016
Sub-retailing is increasingly being put forward as one of the solutions to the growing burden of CSCs on retailers: this is where larger retailers act as consolidation points and supply smaller retailers who do not have the scale to justify a direct account with the wholesaler.

Retrograde step

Sub-retailing already exists in the UK, but in a very limited way. There are also some major issues behind extending it further: sub-retailing could be a massive retrograde step in terms of data visibility and copy management; a whole new set of retail terms will need to be negotiated and these will undoubtedly not be as high as the Sub-Agents would like or need; and it adds another level of complexity to an already complicated supply chain. All in all, sub-retailing looks to be more of a short-term, sticking plaster fix for a limited number of smaller retailers rather than a fundamental structural change to make the supply chain fit-for-purpose for an uncertain and fast-changing future.


A more detailed analysis of sub-retailing is contained in the latest issue of the “Wessendenbriefing” newsletter. For a free sample issue which contains the full article, simply email

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