GLASGOW independent food and drink wholesaler JW Filshill is predicting it will return to sales growth within three years because of changing shopping habits that favour independent and symbol stores.
Filshill reported a pre-tax profit of £1.3m for the year to the end of January 2015, an increase of £500,000 from the previous year despite a 4.4% drop in turnover.
Managing director Simon Hannah said: “Independent retailers are experiencing a resurgence in popularity with consumers who are increasingly turned off by the major retail multiples.”
He did, though, point to the competition from discounters such as Lidl and Aldi and said that Filshill and its KeyStore chain are investing in technology and social media to engage with shoppers who are increasingly using mobile technology in their everyday lives.
He said: “We believe the decline of sales in recent years will reverse and growth will return due to population growth and a change in consumer spending habits migrating towards the convenience sector.”
• Booker has added more than 200 new lines to its Even Bigger POR campaign which is designed to generate improved profit for retailers.
The latest additions include butters, spreads and groceries as well as beers, wines and spirits.
Steve Fox of Booker Group retail said: “The campaign has been very successful for our customers.
“It is a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to help independent retailers make more profit.”
• Following research among its online customers, Bestway has made changes to its online ordering system.
The new features include predictive searches, historical customer searches, product suggestions and typographical corrections which correct commonly misspelled brand names.
Marketing manager Salih Sheikh said: “Although cash & carry remains the core part of our business, we are committed to serving those customers who prefer online ordering and delivery or click and collect.”
• Londis is reporting that within the first three months of its launch more than 400 of its stores had joined its Londis2020 scheme.
Member benefits include competitive costs, additional PoS material and an online information hub.
Londis director John Pattison said: “I’m delighted that so many retailers are on board and our aim is to have all stores in Londis working within 2020 by the end of 2017.”
In a promotion running until October, Londis2020 stores have the chance to double their normal Londis Over-rider Discount (LOD) on fresh produce to 5%.