Gebr. de Mooij - Amsterdam has bought out two of its neighboring businesses in the last six years. The first was Amsterdamse Fruithandel on 1 January 2014. And then, on 1 October 2019, this Dutch company acquired Vroegop-Windig's premises and wholesale activities. Now, a large-scale renovation is almost complete. This wholesale business is, therefore, ready for the future in a spacious, sleek building. AGF.nl took a look.
10,000 m2 building
The whole building is 10,000m2. It also houses Miedema AGF and Rustenburg. "We expanded our location and had to keep growing upward. That became inefficient. It became a limitation for further growth," says Danny de Mooij. "But we wanted to stay at the Food Center. The city council has plans to restructure this center. So, we'd like to keep playing an important role here in the future. There were no larger buildings that met our requirements available. We're, therefore, pleased that we could take this step."
Gebr. de Mooij has been combining its wholesale and import and export activities for years now. A partner in the Westland area handles all their export logistic. "We have roughly the same amount of domestic and export activities," says Danny. Until 2014, Russia was the company's leading export destination.
But, then came the boycott, and this export flow came to a virtual standstill. It's now distributed to destinations inside and outside Europe. Danny is responsible for general business and export activities. His cousin, Roel de Mooij, takes care of domestic sales in addition to general business. And Roel Snr. is active in day-to-day operations.
When they acquired Amsterdamse Fruithandel, Gebr. de Mooij considerably expanded its fruit range. With the take over of Vroegop's activities, it's mostly the specialty and exotics assortment that's now being bolstered. As a result, the company has a comprehensive range of fruit and vegetables at its disposal. "The number of players at the Food Center has shrunk considerably in recent years. Clients want faster, more efficient purchases too. So, our clients' demand for a wider range of products is automatically growing."
Italian baby leaf lettuce is Gebr. de Mooij Amsterdam's main product. As are Spanish lettuce varieties, such as baby gems, yellow frisée, and romaine lettuce. That's in terms of volume. Fino Fresco remains a top seller in the assortment. This premium brand consists of a wide range of Italian vegetable specialties.
The wholesaler also offers lettuce varieties directly from Spain, from various selected producers. That's under the Fresco del Sol label. "Strong brands are vital if you want to distinguish yourself in the market. By choosing such labels, you give your clients a type of quality guarantee. Of course, we also work with established brands such as Turbana, Eat me, Pink Lady, etc.", adds Danny.
Hospitality sector lockdown
Many local clients still visit the market. There's a difference between those who come to collect their goods and the cash & carry. That's visited daily by hospitality industry suppliers, retailers, greengrocers, and vendors. The hospitality sector lockdown has caused some concern. "A considerable part of our sales is related to that industry. In March, sales literally stopped. But by now, people in that sector have found alternatives, such as take-aways. But it certainly doesn't make up for pre-COVID-19 sales. The other sales channels are, however, showing clear plusses."
"In March, we asked ourselves, 'what now?' Now, we have enough room, but some sales have stopped. But we moved quickly and made changes, particularly externally. There have been no COVID-19-related redundancies. So, I'm convinced we have made the correct choices and long-term investments. That's despite the several recent changes," says De Mooij.
When asked about the biggest hurdle, the wholesaler answers, "It's a daily challenge to maintain stock levels while keeping your pricing competitive. But with these investments, we've taken steps to ready ourselves for the future. Our space used to be a growth-limiting factor. Now we have the room and an extended product range. So, we can serve more clients and improve our current position."
"A location like Amsterdam needs a wholesaler with a wide range of products. We want to fulfill that role. We, therefore, hope the complete restructuring of the Food Center will happen as soon as possible. Then the entire business park will once again be modern and future-proof," Danny concludes.
For more information:
Gebr. de Mooij Amsterdam B.V.
W-2 Amsterdam Foodcenter
190 Centrale Groothandelsmarkt
1051 LJ, Amsterdam, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 206 063 010