GLASGOW-based United Wholesale Scotland aimed to deliver a knock-out blow last month when former world champion boxer Amir Khan starred at the opening of the firm’s extended depot in Maxwell Road, on the south side of Glasgow.
The sports hero was an Olympic silver medallist at the age of just 17 when he was Great Britain’s only boxer at the Athens games of 2004. And he has held WBA and IBF versions of the world light-welterweight title. He drew a large crowd to a celebratory day at the UWS depot, which also featured a raft of special deals.
UWS had wanted to extend the Maxwell Road site for a considerable time but had to make purchases of adjacent properties and await the outcome of planning procedures before doing so.
The re-shaped depot is twice the size it was before. It’s now over 40,000 sq ft and includes a major beers, wines and spirits section.
UWS managing director Asim Sarwar told Scottish Grocer he expects the development will add £30m to depot turnover.
“We’re doubling in size. And we know that 85% of customers at Maxwell Road sell licensed products.
“The depot is already the busiest in the UK even without beers, wines and spirits.
“It’s the busiest depot for Gallaher cigarettes and the busiest for Warburtons bread,” he said.
The Maxwell Road extension is one of several projects that UWS is carrying out in 2014.
It is currently developing a 65,000 sq ft depot in Newbridge in Edinburgh, which will see it move into the east of Scotland for the first time.
At its other Glasgow depot in Queenslie, on the eastern edge of the city, UWS earlier this year opened what it reckons is Scotland’s first “showstore” – a fully-fitted and stocked model c-store. UWS spent £35,000 in setting up the 600 sq ft shop.
It’s designed to inspire and motivate independent retailers – including traders who are considering joining the symbol group and those already trading under its Day-Today banner.
It uses the latest store design, equipment and merchandising techniques in a bid to show customers what is possible and inspire them to try things out in their own stores.