Scottish wholesaler JW Filshill is targeting social-media-savvy retailers as it looks to expand its KeyStore symbol group.
Speaking to RN at its new Glasgow distribution centre, Filshill group marketing manager Sue Man said the strategy would help cement the company’s KeyStore symbol group as a neighbourhood fascia.
She added: “We’re looking for retailers who are the most active on social media sites such as TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp or Facebook.
“We want to recruit online, rather than through traditional paper advertising. It’s a good way to identify the retailers that are technologically savvy when practising community engagement.”
Filshill chief executive Simon Hannah said: “Where we make good recruitment is local people and local families. Retailers who are engaged with technology such as social media are already engaged with their local communities.
These are our ideal symbol retailers.”
To support this community engagement in stores, the company has pledged to match-fund initiatives such as charity donations in selected stores on a case-by-case basis.
Filshill is also giving retailers and their staff opportunities to receive mental-health first-aid training, with aims to have an employee with the qualification in every store.
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New KeyStore branding is also being soft-launched in a handful of shops, with the intention to push for more consistent fascia branding across the estate.
This will be rolled out across Filshill’s fascias over the next five years.
Hannah added that the wholesaler has plans to add 29 KeyStore shops across Scotland and England by February next year, adding to its existing estate of 216 stores.
There are 11 KeyStores south of the Scottish border.
Despite the investment into its symbol group, Hannah said it would not be at the expense of its delivered wholesale customers.
Any retailer who is not a fit for the symbol group will be encouraged to trade as a wholesale customer instead.
The opening of the depot also demonstrates Filshill’s commitment to using the latest technology to improve deliveries for its retailers.
It has separate picking zones to speed up the delivery process while specialised shelving has been designed to move popular lines through the distribution centre at a faster rate.
There are also plans to build a wider distribution network for stores in England, and a new website is due to launch by the end of the summer.
Hannah said: “We need to focus on the strategy of optimising the range within stores.”
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