JW Filshill, the Glasgow-based independent food and drink wholesaler, has been named the best wholesale business in the country at the 14th Scottish Wholesale Achievers, the prestigious awards initiative created and organised by the Scottish Wholesale Association to recognise professionalism and excellence across all sectors of the industry in Scotland.
A family-owned business which celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2015, Filshill supplies 168 KeyStore convenience stores across Scotland and the north of England. It fended off stiff competition from wholesalers all over the country to win the sought-after Champion of Champions award, sponsored by tobacco firm JTI.
Filshill also lifted the Best Symbol Group for KeyStore, Best Delivered Operation (Retail) and Best Marketing Initiative for its Craft Beer Clan division. Fiona Ritchie, the company’s impulse buyer, won the Employee of the Year category. Indeed, Filshill won every category it entered. “This no mean feat given the superb overall standard and high level of competition within Achievers and the Scottish wholesale industry in general,” said the judges.
Describing Filshill as “a true Scottish independent wholesaler”, the judges added: “It does not have the support of a symbol group central office but it demonstrates excellent retailer selection criteria, retailer support and execution. Stores are supported with business development managers, merchandisers, planograms and a range of training packages. Its communication and pricing were described by some of its customers as first-class.”
Kate Salmon, executive director of the SWA (second right), commented: “This is an outstanding result for Filshill, one of our sector’s leading independent, family-owned business – and a wholesaler that is bold and confident about the future, a wholesaler that is prepared to take risks, embrace new technologies and push boundaries in its quest to diversify and innovate.”
She added: “Achievers is not just about winning. It never has been. Since the start, the feedback element of our awards has been very important to wholesalers and suppliers alike and it’s one of the reasons that – after last year’s Achievers – we conducted a root-and-branch review of the judging process and criteria.
“We wanted to make absolutely sure that the feedback we give is so comprehensive that it can be acted on by each and every entrant to enhance their business. It is also hugely encouraging for the SWA to see such strong support from suppliers and a genuine willingness on their part to strengthen relationships with our members.”
Almost 500 people attended the Achievers gala dinner and awards presentation, hosted by TV presenter and model Jean Johansson (right) at the Sheraton Grand, Edinburgh.