Filshill announces improved profits, promises greater engagement with retailers

Scottish wholesaler JW Filshill has announced that it is to ‘boost support’ for its KeyStore retail customers to prevent them moving to other symbol groups.

Managing director Simon Hannah (pictured) said: “We have ramped up investment in our workforce to enable us to engage more closely with our KeyStore customers and manage the principal risk of losing customers to other groups.”

He said the support included “offering strong promotions and wide-ranging advice and support, including store layouts and planograms, consumer leaflets, digital social media and EPoS installations”.

Filshill supplies 175 KeyStore convenience outlets across Scotland and the north of England.

Hannah was speaking as Filshill announced an operating profit of £1.1m in the year to January 31, 2017, compared with £900,000 in the previous financial year – despite a 0.5% fall in turnover to £142m.

A “strong” performance in food and drink (particularly in craft and speciality beers, via its Craft Beer Clan of Scotland subsidiary) offset the continuing decline in tobacco sales and helped to deliver a 0.6% uplift in gross profit percentage.

“Our market is evolving with further changes to tobacco sales regulations likely to drive the same trend for coming years, forcing convenience operators to focus more heavily on growth areas such as local sourcing, food-to-go, and fresh and chilled foods.”

He said the company’s capital investment programme, part of a long-term strategy, had recently included new vehicles and an extension to its Hillington office complex in Glasgow to accommodate more employees and training facilities.

Hannah said a detailed strategy planning exercise undertaken during the year to define the company’s future vision had been completed. “This has been a crucial step-change for us and it puts delivering ‘service excellence’ at the heart of everything we work to achieve.”

Read more on Filshill in the September issue of Wholesale News – out next week.

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