Gamechangerz in Retail – Commercial Excellence in Wholesale

28 June 2024

28 June 2024

On June 4, 2024, the second Gwynt Gamechangerz in Retail and Wholesale event took place at Technische Unie’s inspiration center in Utrecht. This time around 50 executives descended on the topic of how to realize “Commercial Excellence in Wholesale.” A great opportunity for participants to network and gain concrete knowledge and exchange how successful companies increase their commercial performance.


The event opened with a presentation by Gwynt on how to get started concretely with Commercial Excellence. In this session, it was explained that price and assortment must be in order and that especially selling power and distinctive positioning make the difference in increasing sales and margin. This included a deeper look at the importance of customer focus, sales process optimization, and the effective use of data and technology to achieve commercial goals.

An impressive lineup of speakers then performed, sharing their insights and experiences:

  • Remco Tolsma of Technische Unie spoke about the operating model as well as the benefits and challenges of an omnichannel strategy. An important insight here is that the customer is affected by all functions in the company. It is important to maintain customer focus, even on internal projects. With every decision, think, is the customer happy with this? Also discussed was the use of AI and how Technical Union is deploying it. AI can free people from simple tasks so they can add more value for customers;
  • Jack Peters of Alibaba highlighted global B2B e-commerce opportunities and gave an insight into the platform and how it can bring new business and commercial success to customers worldwide;
  • Dick Slootweg of Bidfood gave a presentation on Bidfood’s unique culture and transformation. Here he spoke of the importance of continuing to improve the business model to avoid becoming an “average wholesaler. Among other things, he talked about the rapid rise of total transparency, the enormous changes this brings to the business model and the growth opportunities it offers. Dick explained how, within six months, Bidfood has uniquely embraced the new ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) legislation and is able to proactively transform it within the business.
    Simple goals that everyone in the company understands will help in a successful transformation. When you get people excited, they want to change.

There was also a good panel discussion with former executives such as Jan Ferwerda and Rob Klifman on the future and importance of commercial excellence in wholesale. One of the key learnings from this discussion is; get your basics in order. Assortment, price and distribution is a hygiene factor. You used to be able to differentiate on this, but not anymore. In addition, focus on the right customers who really suit you and don’t add too many “frills.
To remain relevant as a wholesaler, you must occupy a unique position in the market, and set yourself up accordingly.


The second Gamechangerz in Retail event was a great success for attendees, inspiring executives within wholesale to embrace and implement commercial excellence within their own businesses. With engaging presentations, valuable networking opportunities and positive feedback from attendees, the event was an important step in promoting innovation and collaboration within the industry.

Keep an eye on our website and LinkedIn for more information on future events and initiatives within Retail & Wholesale.