• Drakes Supermarkets management team at the opening of its $125 million distribution centre. (L-R: director JP Drake, MD Roger Drake, GM Bob Soang, logistics manager Glenn Sutcliffe)
    Drakes Supermarkets management team at the opening of its $125 million distribution centre. (L-R: director JP Drake, MD Roger Drake, GM Bob Soang, logistics manager Glenn Sutcliffe)
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Building a $125 million, 55,000 square metre distribution centre was not something the founder of Drakes Supermarkets Roger Drake ever imagined would be a part of the business. He caught up with Kim Berry to explain how it came to be.

An increasingly difficult retail market, a frustrating business relationship and a deep and abiding commitment to his customers put the founder and managing director of Drakes Supermarkets, Roger Drake
at a crossroads.

“We had to remove the middleman. We were not able to buy goods at the right price and if you can’t buy right, you can’t store right,” Drake told Food & Drink Business.

Drake said negotiations with wholesale supplier Metcash were unsuccessful so they decided to do something independently.

“Our aim is to save the average South Australian family around $20 per week at the check-out, which equates to over $1000 per year, by just having direct relationships with our suppliers and cutting out the middle-man.

“We are a South Australian, family-owned and operated business that has taken the leap to go out on our own, take on the big corporations and provide our customers the biggest range of products for
the best possible prices.”

The company already had its own fruit and vegetable distribution centre, and a state-of-the-art $10 million meat production facility.

“We’re probably the only other retailer apart from Coles and Woolworths to have that,” he says.

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