UWS reveals ‘warehouse of the future’

United Wholesale Scotland (UWS) is claiming to have one of the most modern wholesale depots in the world with the relaunch of its Queenslie facility in Glasgow.

The £1m investment in the 170,000 sq ft location will give retailers and foodservice outlet owners an ‘enhanced shopping experience and process’. This includes a number of new digital frameworks for the customer and large LED displays in the depot – including a 48 metre screen in the entrance foyer.

These screens will feature paid-for products promotions and messages from suppliers that aim to grab customers’ attention as they shop. As well as this, there are now electronic shelf-edge displays which change colour when products are on offer, and a scan and go operation which is accessed through the UWS app.

Thought up by executive chairman Asim Sarwar, the concept has taken seven months to come to fruition, with managing director Chris Gallagher believing that it proves the concept of a cash and carry is not dead. “Cash and carries haven’t really changed that much over the years. We may have evolved, but the traditional way our retailers do their shopping has remained almost the same, until now.”

When a retailer enters the depot and checks into the app, it simplifies the shopping experience with an interactive journey that allows the customer to use a shopping list they can make before they arrive. They are then connected to system and directed through the aisles via the most efficient route to get to all the products on their list.

UWS is also using US software provider Darius to organise data on each customer. “This allows us to categorise our customers any way we want. It also identifies what a particular customer does and doesn’t buy,” says marketing manager Naeem Khaliq. “We can then create campaigns for suppliers using this information and tailor them depending on how we tag the retailer.”

With new offices as well as an extension of the tobacco room, Queenslie will now also be the central delivery location for UWS, with all of the senior managers now based at the location. The Maxwell Road and Grangemouth depots will now be solely used as cash and carries.

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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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