JW Filshill targets on-trade with investment and key new appointment

JW Filshill, the Glasgow-based, family-owned wholesaler, has ramped up its investment in its on-trade division with the appointment of Stuart Bell as business development manager for the central belt of Scotland.

Filshill, which supplies a broad range of beers, wines and spirits, has boosted its range with premium artisan craft beers and spirits produced by Craft Beer Clan members and supplies its KeyStore convenience retail customers, other specialist independents, ASDA and export markets. The company is now upweighting resource in the licensed on-trade, initially in the central belt.

A former senior sales executive with Tennent Caledonian Breweries, Bell has nearly 30 years’ experience working in the Scottish industry. Chris Miller, Filshill group commercial director, said the appointment marked the next phase in the wholesaler’s strategy to grow its on-trade operation. “We’re a business that has diversified quite considerably in a relatively short space of time and growth of our existing on-trade business is one of our priorities,” he said.

“Stuart has a breadth of experience that brings great value to both Filshill and Craft Beer Clan given his long association with the Scottish on-trade and the contacts he has built up over three decades,” he added. “We’re delighted to have him on board as we embark on this exciting phase of our company’s growth.”

Bell will work closely with existing team member Leonard Maguire in developing the on-trade in Scotland, supported by new trading assistant Jenna Crossan and George Fulton, general manager of the Filshill depot at Hillington.

“We’re working hard to create and develop new markets both at home and overseas in collaboration with other partners including Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise,” said Miller. “We’re a long-established delivered wholesaler to our KeyStore convenience store estate but we also have a growing on-trade presence.

“In January 2014, Filshill acquired the west of Scotland-based Lawrence McQueen Wine & Spirits Merchants to provide the company with a platform to further enhance our position within the on-trade,” Miller continued. “We have a loyal customer base of bars, pubs and hotels across central Scotland and we see an opportunity to build on this on the back of our impressive range of Scottish craft beers and spirits via our Craft Beer Clan members.

“Filshill is evolving and Stuart’s appointment will help us grow our existing on-trade business and diversify into complimentary areas utilising our expertise and logistics network.”

Filshill recently added Brewgooder, the world’s first craft beer label to donate 100% of its profits to clean water projects, to its portfolio. Chris Miller and Filshill managing director Simon Hannah have also joined the board of Brewgooder as non-executive directors, bringing their broad range of experience to help the brand realise its ambition of providing one million people with clean drinking water.

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