Community spirit will be key in challenging Tesco Booker, JW Filshill retail director Craig Brown has told RN.

Mr Brown’s comments come as Tesco’s £3.7bn takeover of Booker was approved this month. He argued the scale of the two companies would reduce the quality of communication with customers. 

“Other retailers can expect their directors to answer the phone when there’s a problem,” he said. “Booker retailers won’t be able do that with Charles Wilson or any other bosses. 

“The fact our business is smaller means we’re much more nimble, and we can resolve any issues and introduce new products much faster.”

Mr Brown added the expansion of Filshill’s Keystore fascia will be driven by sales of local products and community events. 

For example, Keystore shops will hold fundraisers with local organisations and Filshill will match-fund donations made.

Garry Haigh, of Keystore Peterhead Motors in Aberdeen, has increased his sales by 24% since switching from Spar to Keystore last year. 

“The products in my store were previously dictated to me, but now I have more freedom. I get more local alcohol and I can rely on head office to answer my calls should I have problems.

“Customers have also said the refurbished store looks a lot more appealing. The entrance stands out more, which has helped attract more passing trade, and the interior is much brighter.”