Interview: Birchall Foodservice

managing director

We spoke to Justin Birchall, managing director at Birchall Foodservice to discuss how wholesalers can increase sales during festive periods.


What actions and steps do you take to capitalise on profitable periods throughout the year? Can you name examples?

It’s all about planning and having the right team available to make the most of these periods. When looking at Christmas, we start the planning process right back in March where we analyse what went well and what didn’t go well in the previous festive campaign. The heads of our marketing, sales and buying teams then come together to decide on the offering in our next Christmas brochure based on previous successes and current and upcoming trends. We then bring together the rest of our sales, buying and marketing teams in the early summer at a dedicated 2 day sales meeting to officially launch our Christmas offering and make sure everybody understands the campaign. 

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How important is your work with suppliers during these periods? Do they advise and lead on how you should operate during specific periods?

We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a strong relationship with our suppliers during these periods. We want to grow together with our suppliers, and those who support us with promotions, RaRa days and marketing campaigns are the ones who always see the best sales growth. 

Ultimately, the supplier should provide us with all the tools and knowledge to allow our skilled teams to sell their products. They should also be proactive enough to provide us with bespoke promotions and tools to suit our customer base. The suppliers that take the time to understand us and our business always do this and always see success.

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Can you names specific examples of methods you’ve tried that have had a positive effect on your business for certain months?

It’s important to get everybody focussed on profitable periods throughout the year. We find that having dedicated days for certain periods, such as a 2 day Christmas sales meeting with suppliers, helps get everybody on the same page.

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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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