Awards Profile – Licensed Retailer of the Year 2022

Licensed Retailer of the Year Award – supported by Distell International

Winner – Clydebank Co-op Keystore More Hardgate

Clydebank Co-op KeyStore More won Licensed Retailer of the Year at the Scottish Grocer Awards 2022.
Clydebank Co-op KeyStore More won Licensed Retailer of the Year at the Scottish Grocer Awards 2022.

Winner details

Staff: 14 staff members
Symbol: KeyStore More
Services: PayPoint, National Lottery, ATM machine, bakery counter

  • Gilliland and her team have managed to work their licensed section to great success, bringing in over £20,000 on average every month.

    Colette Gilliland
    Interview with Colette Gilliland, store manager at Clydebank Co-op KeyStore More Hardgate
  • When it comes to trying out something new in the store, the team will often take into consideration what the customer is looking for – if a customer requests it then they’ll work to get it.
  • Team members also benefit from new products in store as Gilliland runs a sampling kit for new products where staff can take home new sample bottles of products to try out and familiarise themselves with the brand to provide recommendations in store.
  • Provenance clearly works in Clydebank, too, as Gilliland keeps in stock a range of beers that feature the local Clydebank Football Club badge, which often sell out in the local community.


Tipples and drams meet the demand

IT’S no lie that Scottish consumers love a cold pint or generous dribble of their favourite dram, with them more often than not going hand-in-hand.

We’re a nation that loves a good drink at the end of the day, so licensed sections across convenience will provide lucrative opportunities for retailers across the country.

Making sure you have an effective selection of alcohol to stock up on will be a no-brainer for plenty of retailers but being able to go above and beyond in the section is a challenge shopkeepers should be keen to rise to.

And this is no more evident than in Clydebank Co-op KeyStore More Hardgate, where manager Colette Gilliland and her team are more than equipped to meet the demands of all the adult customers that come through the door.

Chillers along the back wall are stocked full of recognisable beers, ciders, wines and a colourful array of RTDs and alcopops that should suit any consumer’s taste buds.

An extensive wine selection sits in the corner of the store as well, with a wide array of reds, whites and rosés, along with a section of gifting packs that will surely keep plenty of mothers happy in the Clydebank area.

Behind the counter, customers will find a tasty selection of spirits, from specialist whiskies and gins to flavoured vodkas and rums.

It will come as no surprise, then, that Colette and the team manage to make in excess of £20,000 per month in just alcohol sales alone.

Clydebank Co-op Keystore More Hardgate is one of seven stores under the Clydebank Co-op.

Clearly, they’re doing something right and Gilliland explained her approach to stocking and how she aims to capture the attention of every demographic possible.

“We like to keep a basic range of alcohol across the board. We’ll keep in the alcopops for younger drinkers and then we’ll keep in a good stock of beers, ciders and wines to appeal to older drinkers as well.

“We keep all of this in the chiller, so customers can enjoy their drinks as soon as they get home without needing to wait on them cooling in the fridge.

“And, since day one, we’ve always told customers, if there is something they want to try then let us know, we’ll always do our best to make sure we get it in for them to try out and see if they’ve found a new favourite or if they’re looking for a special gift to get someone,” she said.

It’s not just the customers that benefit from this, as anything new Gilliland brings into the store, she will let her own team trial out, something Scottish Grocer judges were very impressed by.

Gilliland said: “We run a sampling kit with our team whenever we bring in something new so that they can take it away and learn more about the product.

“This way, they can provide some recommendations to customers if they’re looking for it and help to bring a bit more of expertise to the store as well.

“I think it can be a massive help for customers who might not be sure about what they’re looking for, especially when it comes to products such as whisky or gin, which can be so varied in flavour.

“Our wholesaler, JW Filshill are a massive help for this as well, as they will help to bring in some new sample bottles for us to try and, if we like it, we can order more single bottles instead of a full case.

“This way, we can bring in some more premium lines to the store and provide something that maybe other stores might not have for customers.”


Gilliland and her team always aim to bring a wide range in store to fit with consumer demographic and demand.

A customer-first focus has clearly paid off for Gilliland and her team as they continue to consider their Clydebank neighbours in a great deal of their stock.

This is especially the case with the store’s range of Mad Bush selection of beers, in particular the New Kilbowie Goald, which takes it name from the area and features the local football team’s badge on bottles.

Seeing this, it was a no-brainer for Gilliland to stock it and local residents have more than appreciated this extra bit of provenance in store.

Gilliland said: “We have a good relationship with Clydebank Football Club here in the store – we sponsor the team so it made sense to bring in the beers.

“We also did a promotion for them in the summer, which Clydebank Football Club gave us a couple of their team shirts for and stuff like that to help celebrate the start of the new season.

“So we put them all up with the beer and fans that came into the store absolutely loved it.
“Now, we constantly sell out of the beers and it’s great to do because it means we can tie in with more local events along with the seasonal ones.

“We bring in a bit more interaction with the community this way, as well, and it’s been good fun. We’ve even had some members of the team coming into the store now, which is great.”

Gilliland and her team always aim to bring a wide range in store to fit with consumer demographic and demand.

At the end of it all, it’s down to what the customer is looking for and the team at Clydebank Co-op KeyStore More are up to the challenge to meet this demand, even demonstrating this during the Christmas season, with a selection of spirits that showed they’re Still Game to drive the section.

Gilliland said: “One of the best-selling lines we had over Christmas was for the Jack & Victor brand of spirits – people just couldn’t get enough of it.

“We phoned up to Filshill nearly every day looking for more stock to see if we could get it in in time for the holidays. People were just constantly looking to buy both the gin and the whisky.

“Filshill also had an event in the Dalmuir store with Jack and Victor themselves, where the two autographed a couple of the bottles to sell in stores.

“Filshill managed to keep them aside for us to sell in store and they were very popular with the community. Once word got out about them, everybody was keen to get their hands on them.”