United Wholesale (Scotland) is named top wholesale business north of the border at SWA Achievers awards

United Wholesale (Scotland), the Glasgow-based delivered wholesaler and cash and carry, was named the best wholesale business at the Scottish Wholesale Achievers awards last week (February 9).

Achievers, now in its 15th year and organised by the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA), recognises professionalism and excellence across all sectors of the wholesale industry in Scotland.

United, which operates three depots in Glasgow, fended off competition from businesses the length and breadth of Scotland to win the Champion of Champions accolade, this year sponsored by beverage maker Cott.

In the Employee of the Year category, the award went to Jason McLeod, the wholesaler’s fresh food specialist.

It also won three other categories: Best Licensed Operation; Best Marketing Initiative, for its initiative to advertise and promote its revamped M9 Cash & Carry; and Best Symbol Group, for Day-Today.

In addition, the wholesaler was runner-up in Best Delivered Operation (Retail); runner-up in Best Place to Work; and highly commended in Best Cash & Carry, for its Queenslie depot.

Simon Harrison, sales director wholesale and out of home at Cott, presenting the 2017 Champion of Champions award, said: “This wholesaler achieves consistently high standards, and it has won four of the eight categories outright, making the decision-making process relatively straightforward.

“This puts them in a great position to confront the continued challenges posed by the supermarkets and by economic pressures.”

Other award winners included: JW Filshill, Best Delivered Operation (Retail); Dunns Food and Drinks, Best Delivered Operation (Foodservice); and United Wholesale Grocers (Springburn), Best Cash & Carry.

The Supplier Sales Executive of the Year award, sponsored by Sugro, went to Fiona Nisbet, national accounts executive at Mars Chocolate.

Project Scotland, which highlights suppliers’ understanding of the Scottish wholesale industry and their commitment to the sector, was won by AG Barr for its relaunch of Irn-Bru with a new design to differentiate the sugar-free version from the original. This project delivered an extra £500,000 in profit for retailers and wholesalers and a 6% increase in the number of households buying Irn-Bru.

Best Advertising Campaign saw wholesalers vote for their favourite advert with The Famous Grouse Full of Character campaign beating off some stiff competition.

Kate Salmon, executive director of the Edinburgh-based SWA, commented: “Recognising and promoting best practice is our aim and Achievers does this with integrity – I am proud of this and I am also proud of the way Achievers has evolved because every year we act on constructive criticism to ensure that the awards remain meaningful and beneficial to all involved.

“A key part of this is consulting with leading wholesalers and suppliers to make sure that all elements of the judging are aligned to identify best practice within the industry, with criteria that is not only relevant but also bang up to date. I am extremely grateful to our suppliers for their contribution.”

Some 500 people attended the Achievers gala dinner and awards presentation, hosted by BBC Scotland TV presenter Catriona Shearer, at the Sheraton Grand, Edinburgh.



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