Cash and carry (wholesale)

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Cash and carry wholesale represents a type of operation within the wholesale sector. Its main features are summarized best by the following definitions:

  • Cash and carry is a form of trade in which goods are sold from a wholesale warehouse operated either on a self-service basis, or on the basis of samples (with the customer selecting from specimen articles using a manual or computerised ordering system but not serving himself) or a combination of the two.
  • Customers (retailers, professional users, caterers, institutional buyers, etc.) settle the invoice on the spot in cash, and carry the goods away themselves.
  • There are significant differences between "classical" sales at the wholesale stage and the cash and carry wholesaler: namely a cash and carry customer arranges the transport of the goods themselves and pay for the goods in cash, and not on credit.[1]

Though wholesalers buy primarily from manufacturers and sell mostly to retailers, industrial users and other wholesalers, they also perform many value added functions. The wholesaler, an intermediary, is used based on principles of specialisation and division of labour as well as contractual efficiency. (OECD -Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development).

In a retail context, the term has a similar meaning: customers pay cash for the goods they purchase (the retailer does not offer credit accounts) and carry them away themselves (the retailer does not offer delivery service).

The first textbook on wholesaling - Wholesaling Principles and Practice (1937) by Beckman and Engle notes that the "During the era of rapid change in the field of wholesaling which began in the middle of the (nineteen)twenties, the cash and carry wholesale house was ushered in."[2]

Lawrence Batley from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, claims to be the originator of the concept in the UK. However, research on the evolution of grocery wholesaling in the UK by Dr Jim Quinn at Trinity College Dublin notes that the first report of a UK cash and carry was in June 1957 when The Grocer announced that a cash and carry warehouse had been opened in Ramsgate by Vye & Son a subsidiary of the Home & Colonial Group. The new service was called Wiseway and a range of own brands was being developed. In April 1958 L. Batley & Co. of Huddersfield opened a large 30,000 sq. ft. modern Cash & Carry warehouse by far the biggest of its kind to date.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 97/277/EC: Commission Decision of 20 November 1996 declaring a concentration to be incompatible with the common market (Case No IV/M.784 - Kesko/Tuko) Council Regulation (EEC) No 4064/89
  2. ^ Wholesaling - Wholesaling Principles and Practice (1937) by Beckman and Engle. page 222