Our people make a real difference, says JW Filshill

KeyStore wholesaler explains its special proposition

KeyStore retailers benefit from Filshill's new Westway HQ, says chief sales and marketing officer Craig Brown.
KeyStore retailers benefit from Filshill’s new Westway HQ, says chief sales and marketing officer Craig Brown.

THERE’S no doubting that JW Filshill’s move to its purpose-built HQ at Westway Park, near Glasgow Airport, has massively improved its ability to do business.

But what distinguishes the wholesaler behind the KeyStore fascia from its rivals first and foremost is its people.

That’s the view of Craig Brown, chief sales and marketing officer with Filshill. Brown said: “We have people in our business who are committed and passionate.

“And we have people who have been retailers themselves, so they really understand the trials and tribulations of opening the shop doors every day.”

And while Filshill is on a mission to grow the business, it is not about the numbers game, Brown stressed. So it’s important for retailers to fit with the wholesaler’s ethos and culture.

Filshill chief sales and marketing officer Craig Brown.
Filshill chief sales and marketing officer Craig Brown.

He said: “We want to work with retailers who are willing to embrace technology, who will allow us to help them grow their business through clever category management and who understand it’s not just about getting the cheapest price from their wholesaler.”

On the flip side, Filshill also understands that retailers are independent. And because they own their own businesses, the wholesaler respects that the final decisions lie with the store owners, not Filshill.

So there is an emphasis on getting the dynamic right between the retailers and the wholesaler.

The marketing boss continued: “We build relationships so they understand that we also have great relationships with suppliers, which in turn allow us to source the best deals on the products that their customers want, in order to provide them with better margins.

“The most gratifying thing for us is when a customer recommends Filshill and KeyStore to a fellow retailer.”

With most KeyStores located in the heart of communities that are valued by the tech-savvy, entrepreneurial retailers who Filshill like to work with, the company is gradually introducing more refined, modern signage for the KeyStore fascia.

The relocation from Hillington to Westway is also having a positive impact on the business.

The Westway HQ has been designed to Filshill's specification.
The Westway HQ has been designed to Filshill’s specification.

The premises were designed to Filshill’s specification as part of a 10-year growth strategy and the new site is already helping to improve efficiency and productivity as the wholesaler invests in the long-term success of the company, protects future revenue streams and strives to increase customer satisfaction.

Brown explained: “Westway has enabled us to increase our operational capacity as we welcome more customers to the KeyStore family in Scotland and the north of England.

“As part of the design, we have incorporated a much larger waiting and collection area for customers using our Click & Collect service. We now have the capability to turn around customer orders within 10 minutes of arrival on site.”

And, returning to the importance of technology, Brown was keen to highlight the advantages of Filshill’s Re-Scan EPOS system.

It provides a sizeable piece of data that the wholesaler shares with suppliers. But it also tells retailers what is selling and what is not – vital information that allows the firm to develop the most up-to-date category planograms.

Brown added: “We’ve recently partnered with Snappy Shopper for home deliveries and this is integrated within our EPOS system, making it easier for retailers to have better control over stock and provide quicker deliveries.”