United Wholesale (Scotland) named best wholesale business

United Wholesale (Scotland)

United Wholesale (Scotland), the Glasgow-based delivered wholesaler and cash & carry, has been named the best wholesale business at the Scottish Wholesale Achievers awards.

Achievers, now in its 15th year and organised by the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA), recognises professionalism and excellence across all sectors of the wholesale industry in Scotland.

United Wholesale (Scotland), which operates depots at Queenslie in the east end of Glasgow, Maxwell Road in the city’s southside and M9 Cash & Carry near Grangemouth, fended off stiff competition from businesses across Scotland to win the sought-after Champion of Champions accolade.

In the key Employee of the Year category, the top award went to Jason McLeod, the wholesaler’s fresh food specialist.

United also won three other categories: Best Licensed Operation; Best Marketing Initiative, for its initiative to advertise and promote its revamped M9 Cash & Carry; and Best Symbol Group for Day-Today.

In addition, United Wholesale (Scotland) was runner-up in Best Delivered Operation (Retail); runner-up in Best Place to Work, and highly commended in Best Cash & Carry, for its Queenslie depot.

Simon Harrison, sales director wholesale and out of home at Cott, presenting the 2017 Champion of Champions award to United Wholesale (Scotland) said: “This wholesaler achieves consistently high standards, and it has won four of the eight categories outright, making the decision-making process relatively straightforward.

“This puts them in a great position to confront the continued challenges posed by the supermarkets and by economic pressures.”

Other category winners included:

  • JW Filshill, Best Delivered Operation (Retail)
  • Dunns Food and Drinks, Best Delivered Operation (Foodservice)
  • United Wholesale Grocers (Springburn), Best Cash & Carry

The Supplier Sales Executive of the Year award, went to Fiona Nisbet, national accounts executive at Mars Chocolate, with the judges commenting: “Fiona has huge experience and understands how to get the best from the Scottish wholesale industry.

She recognises the changing mix between cash and carry and delivered, as well as the requirements of independent retailers and how the supply chain to the consumer stitches together – this allows her to maximise the outcome for her wholesale customers and employer.”

Project Scotland, which highlights suppliers’ understanding of the Scottish wholesale industry and their commitment to the sector, was won by AG Barr for its relaunch of Irn-Bru with a new design to differentiate the sugar-free version from the original. This project delivered an extra £500,000 in profit for retailers and wholesalers and a 6% increase in the number of households buying Irn-Bru.

Best Advertising Campaign saw wholesalers vote for their favourite advert with The Famous Grouse ‘Full of Character’ coming out on top seeing off competition from:

  • Aunt Bessie’s ‘I’m a Celebrity’
  • Tennent’s ‘T5s’
  • Haribo ‘Kids’ Voices – Platform’

Kate Salmon, executive director of the Edinburgh-based Scottish Wholesale Association, said: “Recognising and promoting best practice is our aim and Achievers does this with integrity. I am proud of this and I am also proud of the way Achievers has evolved, because every year we act on constructive criticism to ensure that the awards remain meaningful and beneficial to all involved.

“Fairness is paramount to Achievers and although our awards have evolved over the years, what has remained consistent is our integrity – our uncompromising standards and high values across all aspects of the competition and we will continue to build on this in partnership with entrants, supplier sponsors and independent judges.”

Almost 500 people attended the Achievers gala dinner and awards presentation at the Sheraton Grand, hosted by BBC Scotland TV presenter Catriona Shearer on 9th February.

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Helena Drakakis is a journalist for betterWholesaling. Liaising with some of the leading suppliers and industry experts, she aims to bring wholesalers the best advice, latest news and inspiration.


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