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How to Run a Wholesale and Distribution Business in the UK

Regardless of the items you offer, a large portion of what it takes to operate a successful wholesale distribution company requires a lot of hard work.

How can you improve your business?

One great strategy for increasing wholesale sales is to give merchants exclusive incentives. When business-to-business (B2B) purchasers realise they're receiving a good deal on a big, expensive order, they're more likely to complete the transaction. Offering special prices is an intelligent strategy for rapidly and effectively moving your product.

For instance, you may provide quantity-based discounts to B2B buyers. The more items customers order, the greater the discount.

This is a simple method of incentivising your consumers to make huge bulk orders.

Additionally, you may conduct promotions and give discounts in the same way that business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses do.

Do your research

There has been a 2.6% annual growth rate in the UK Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector between 2015 and 2020, reaching a total of 406,336 enterprises.

Likewise, it is a sector that continues to grow, ranking at 11th for sectors that demonstrate business growth over the past five years.

Also, it is imperative to look at the best and learn from them. was founded in 2001 as an internet wholesaler and pound supplier. It provides cheap merchandise, which has helped establish them as a top wholesaler and almost the finest online discount retailer.

Seasonal items, toys, garden products, wholesale tools, and a vast selection of clearance home goods, clothing, and stationery are just a few of the wholesale things available on the internet site.

Acquiring your equipment

A wholesale firm needs continuous investment in equipment, particularly in stockroom tools. For example, you may purchase extra level stockroom shelving for as little as £13 and nested frame clothing for as little as £190.

Additionally, you'll likely need signage materials, box cutters, a tape gun, brooms, mops, and other cleaning items, such as disinfectants.

Of course, you’ll want to prevent a lawsuit, which is why you should not ignore the wet floor indicators. Having an employee or customer slip and fall on a damp floor is a recipe for disaster.

Inventories Management

It is possible to utilise inventory management software to synchronise all your orders from wholesale and retail channels at once.

Each order may be tracked from when it is placed until it is delivered, returned or replaced, thanks to software products.

Furthermore, automate as much as possible your order management and product delivery operations. Automation's primary benefit is that it simplifies complicated fulfilment processes and eliminates the need for human labour, allowing you to deliver superior, more effective customer service from purchasing through to payment and shipment.

You must pay close attention to inventory calculations, including recorder levels, lead times, and the security of your goods to avoid stocking more than is necessary or in vain. Utilising an excellent inventory management system enables you to monitor orders across many channels much more successfully.

Maintaining your location

Warehouse units depend on two main variables: your location and the size of your business. For example, in London, you can find 55,528 sq ft warehouses for £48,866 pcm, or 635 sq ft for as low as £ 900 pcm. As you expand your wholesale business, the space you might need will drastically change, which will reflect the price you will pay for your warehouses.

Three interesting industry facts

Between 2015 and 2020, employment in the UK Wholesale and Retail Trade Industry increased by an average of 1% per year to 5,075,043 total workers, ranking it as the 12th fastest growing sector over the last five years.

Food and beverage wholesale distribution is critical to the UK economy, earning £29 billion in yearly revenue, employing approximately 60,000 people equally distributed throughout the nation, and creating £3 billion in gross value added.

Between 2015 and 2020, revenue for the Wholesale and Retail Trade Industry increased by an average of 1% per year to $1563.2 billion.

Setting yourself achievable goals

In the United Kingdom, most merchants anticipate a markup of between 2.2 and 2.7%, with an average of 2.4 to 2.5% .

This indicates that if the retail price of your goods is £10, a merchant may expect to spend between £4 and £4.16 for it. This is calculated by dividing your RRP by 2.4 or 2.5, depending on the markup you choose to provide.

Wholesale distributors should prioritise cross-selling and upselling as a strategic competence for driving corporate value in the present environment.

While most are aware of the underlying notion, effectively institutionalising cross-selling as a critical component of the sales process may bring enormous opportunities while also introducing additional challenges.

Marketing your business

Wholesale trade exhibitions are among the most successful and visible methods for wholesalers to make contacts and sell their goods.

Retail trade exhibitions will bring your target audience together and provide you with an opportunity to sell to retailers of all sizes.

Choosing the correct trade show is critical, and factors such as size, location, visitor count, and cost should all be considered. Spring Fair is the biggest retail trade exhibition in the United Kingdom and is ideal for wholesalers wishing to enter the market.

Financing options

As a wholesaler, your primary objective is to acquire inventory - which will need significant expenditure.

Additionally, you will need to fund wages, warehousing fees, and overheads. There is always the possibility of getting a loan for expanding your business.

For example, businesses in the West Midlands may get loans ranging from £50,001 to £150,000 via CBILS-accredited lender, BCRS Business Loans.

The government covers interest and lender-imposed costs for the first year. Additionally, BCRS offers loans ranging from £10,000 to £150,000 outside of the CBILS arrangement.

Considerations when hiring new employees

Due to the shifting and rapid speed of technological advancements and innovations, such as online, multi-channel, and omnichannel retailing, organisations face several challenges.

This diversity of enterprises, along with the exposure provided by the internet, presents a significant opportunity for firms to develop into new, international markets.

This will need the development of new higher-level business abilities like opportunity identification, language proficiency, awareness of different cultures and business methods, and the capacity to expand supply chains abroad.

Exiting your business

If you decide to sell a wholesale business, it's critical to resolve any concerns that might devalue your enterprise. A successful sale requires much planning and preparation and expert counsel and support as you will need to negotiate a business price, terms and conditions.

To begin, you must provide interested parties with a sales memorandum. This usually helps the interested parties value a business, as this document explains why you're selling and provides an overview of your firm, including financial statistics and details about your customers, suppliers, and staff.

Utilising company sales brokers with industry knowledge can assist you in accomplishing your overall objectives and may be important in obtaining a profitable end regardless of your reason for selling.

Megan Kelly

About the author

Megan is the Content Manager for Dynamis and researches and writes for She is an expert writer and aspiring digital marketer.


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