Choosing the right retail brand

Wholesalers have plenty to offer independents

CHOOSING a fascia or franchise partner is an important decision that will have lasting consequences for an independent retailer.

Each brand has something different to offer, and what’s right for one store will not necessarily work for another.

Thankfully, for Scotland’s retailers, there is an abundance of choice and the nation’s top wholesalers have been working hard to improve the packages they offer retailers.

At Nisa, retailers continue to benefit from the own label might of the Co-op, with access to a range comprising more than 2,400 Co-op own-brand products, all delivered through Nisa’s supply chain.

The symbol recorded a record year of recruitment in 2020, with those investing in new and upgraded stores enjoying average sales uplifts of 12%, according to Nisa.

Booker has been improving its range too. Britain’s biggest wholesaler has recently committed to improving the availability of healthier options, which should help retailers to satisfy increasingly health-conscious consumers, seeking out better-for-you foods in the wake of the pandemic.

Spar Scotland wholesaler CJ Lang has also been expanding its offer, with the rollout of a new food to go concept – CJ’s– across its company-owned estate showing it is serious about developing its on-the-go offer.

The Dundee-based wholesaler has also been investing in consumer-facing marketing campaigns, with frequent appearances on STV in the last year.

Bestway Wholesale has had a busy year, with the firm’s recent acquisition of Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) taking its symbol, franchise and company-owned-store estate to more than 3,795 stores in the UK.

Dawood Pervez, managing director of Bestway Wholesale, said: “With Costcutter now part of the Bestway family, it’s even better placed to champion and support independent retailers and benefit from the larger support offered by Bestway’s scale.

“Costcutter’s mission is to help independent retailers thrive; providing a full spectrum of support with a leading retail offer that helps retailers adapt to meet the needs of today’s convenience shopper.”

If the last 12 months have proven anything, it’s that technology is increasingly important to Scottish c-store success.

From click-and-collect to home delivery, the pandemic saw retailers introduce a host of new tech-driven services to support their local communities during lockdown.

Glasgow-based wholesaler JW Filshill hasn’t been afraid to invest in technology, with the KeyStore wholesaler developing an artificial intelligence system that should help retailers to boost their margins.

When it’s fully operational, the system should allow JW Filshill to provide detailed insights with the capacity to boost margins and increase revenues in store.

For retailers looking for a franchise option, Tesco-owned One Stop has been proving popular.

The franchise now boasts more than 900 stores across the UK, having enjoyed back-to-back growth each year since 2014 according to One Stop.

One Stop has claimed fully-fitted One Stop stores see their weekly sales increase by an average of 14% in their first 13 weeks, the kind of performance improvement no retailer could turn their nose up at.