Finding out the wholesale needs of a Scottish take away owner

Ruby Shakoor

OUTLET: Ruby’s Kitchen/Weaver Row Newsagents

LOCATION: Stirling, Scotland

NUMBER OF STAFF: Four

OPERATIONAL SINCE: 1993

We get all our halal meat for our prepared meals from our local depot

Which wholesalers do you use and why do you use them?

There used to be two wholesalers in the area, but Batleys shut down. This was disappointing because we used them a lot.

I now use Booker, which is the only wholesaler in Stirling, so I don’t have much choice. 

Do you get your orders by visiting the cash and carry or having them delivered?

We visit our local cash and carry to pick up goods rather than get them delivered. It massively caters for our needs in the sense that they have a great halal meat butchers section. We get all our halal meat for our prepared meals from our local depot.

How can wholesalers improve the online ordering experience?

We don’t use the online ordering because the depot is so close that we don’t need to.

I have never had the need, but if I were to, I think the minimum delivery restrictions are enough to stop me from using it.

How can wholesalers improve the cash and carry experience?

I don’t necessarily have any issues with my cash and carry. What Booker has is a really good scanning system, which is great. Everything you need is there, so personally I don’t have any problems with my experience.

What in-depot activity is likely to capture your attention and get you to purchase promotional items?

Trade days are always appealing because you know you are going to be able to purchase stock at a reduced rate, thanks to the offers. However, it is hard to find the time to attend them when you don’t have a large number of staff, because there’s no one that can look after the shop.

What categories would you like to see wholesalers improve in?

I would love wholesalers to improve their range of American confectionery.

I rang a number of wholesalers enquiring about it and none of them said they stocked any of the products – this came as a surprise to me because there was such a market for it in my shop.

I have, however, had a really good experience purchasing American beverages. They seem to stock more of that than the confectionery.

How would you rate the wholesale sector when it comes to responding to trends?

I don’t think Booker is very good at responding to new trends very quickly. This does surprise me because you think that they would be more focused on what retailers want.

What food trends do you predict will grow this year?

Well, because I have seen a real desire for American confectionery, this is a trend that I think will grow as the year goes on.

Also, I think more unique confectionery has a real appeal with customers. I recently started stocking the pink KitKat, and that has been really well received.

The UK has a real sweet tooth, so I think there is a huge opportunity.

What has Ferrero been up to in the wholesale channel?

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Paul Hill
Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. Paul can be found on Twitter on @BW_PaulHill, or can be contacted via paul.hill@newtrade.co.uk and 020 7689 3376.

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