One of the longest-serving figures in the Scottish wholesale trade, Ian McDonald, is set to retire from Glasgow-based JW Filshill after a career spanning over 40 years.
McDonald, who has been instrumental in growing the KeyStore brand in Scotland and the north of England, will remain with the business working on a number of projects before stepping down in January 2018.
Craig Brown, until recently co-owner of the west of Scotland-based retail, food and drink consultancy Ross & Brown, has joined Filshill in the newly-created role of retail sales director. He will hold responsibility for all sales activities within the business.
Simon Hannah, managing director at Filshill, said: “Ian has made an invaluable contribution to Filshill over the last 41 years, and there can be few delivered wholesalers across the UK, let alone Scotland, fortunate enough to have an individual of Ian’s calibre driving and developing their retail business.
“He will leave behind a legacy of innovation, professionalism and passion having worked with his team to drive up standards in the convenience store sector and help countless independent family businesses become more successful in an ever-evolving and challenging retail marketplace.”
McDonald’s highlights at Filshill include winning the Morning Noon & Night business of 50 stores – delivering turnover of £30m – in 2004. Hannah noted that McDonald has forged strong relationships with key customers such as Scotmid, G101, Vino, Park’s of Hamilton, Margiotta’s of Edinburgh and many independent retailers across the country.
In 2013, he achieved an industry-first in recruiting the Clydebank Co-op to KeyStore in a collaboration which has seen the co-operative grow its grocery business and adopt a new localised product offering.
Hannah added: “Ian’s foresight and understanding of the growing data-led culture within the retail sector has been instrumental in our decision to focus significantly on supporting our customers with Epos systems. He was also responsible for bringing Shopflow – third-party supply – to Filshill, and this currently has a turnover in excess of £6m.”
McDonald said: “There are numerous exciting and new initiatives coming up, and I am delighted to be leaving the business in such a position of strength. I thank Simon and the team – including his father, Filshill’s chairman Ronnie Hannah – for all their support over the years, and wish them and Craig Brown every future success.”
Brown, who has 20-plus years’ experience in the retail sector, played a key role as part of a Sainsbury’s team that delivered £12m additional sales annually, enhancing the retailer’s Scottish market share, achieving its highest-ever market share in the process.
While at Ross & Brown, he was involved in securing an industry-leading deal to supply Asda with Scottish craft beer from members of the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland, a division of Filshill.
In addition to working on Craft Beer Clan projects, Brown has been developing a new fresh and chilled concept for Filshill in partnership with Glasgow-based Lomond – The Wholesale Food Co.