Rowan publishes record results as discount sector continues to expand

Discount channel wholesaler Rowan announced its strongest ever annual figures this week. The company recorded a turnover of £66.8m in the 2013 calendar year – a rise of 15.5% compared to the previous twelve months.

This, said commercial director James Russell, “represents Rowan’s strongest results to date and follows a company-wide review of strategic direction, a rebranding, and an investment of over £1m in facilities at our Basildon headquarters. Warehouse capacity was also expanded by 33%. The company has had particular success in Europe, with business doubling in some territories.”

CEO Alan Saywell added: “It’s a vindication of our decision to prioritise strategic relationships above tactical sales, and it’s proof that the discount channel has arrived, and is here to stay.

“The team has put a significant amount of effort into developing smarter ways of working, including becoming sole discount partner to an increasing number of large brand owners, and investing more in facilities and technology. This approach is working – in a recent supplier survey we conducted 97% of respondents reported that Rowan is easy to do business with, and 99% described us as either ‘very professional’ or ‘extremely professional’.

“At the same time, we have benefitted from a favourable market. 2013 has seen the discount channel continue to boom – but importantly, we expect it to remain strong even as the wider economy improves.”

Saywell said that “77%” of discount shoppers were from ABC1 social economic groups, with “85% of all shoppers” saying they intend to continue using discounters even after their personal financial situation improves.

“We feel this is evidence that there has been a cultural change, and discount shops are forging a new niche for themselves within the retail market, making the sector recession-proof,” he said.

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