2 minutes of your time: Craig Brown

Craig Brown

Glasgow-based wholesaler JW Filshill has finally officially launched its new premium KeyStore More fascia format in Scotland. We talk to Retail Sales Director Craig Brown to find out the thinking behind the new fascia.


Craig Brown is Retail Sales Director at JW Filshill, having stepped into the very big boots of Ian McDonald who recently retired. Craig’s early career was in supermarkets having worked with William Low, Safeway / Presto and Tesco before becoming a senior manager at Sainsbury’s, winning a Store Manager of the Year award into the bargain. In October 2014 he left to set up Ross & Brown, a food retailing consultancy business. He was Managing Director there until joining JW Filshill last year.

So, Craig, KeyStore More is finally live?
Yes, that’s right. We’ve been working on the new fascia format for some time and have had it trialling in some stores on Scotland but we’ve now officially launched KeyStore More and we’re very excited about it.

What exactly is KeyStore More then?
It’s basically a premium format aimed at providing the most progressive retailers with a distinct point of difference in a busy retail marketplace, stimulate growth, and offer consumers more choice.

What will that mean in-store?
KeyStore More is a premium brand created to appeal to consumers seeking a more comprehensive chilled and fresh range, a broader food to go offering, an extensive choice of local and Scottish brands and a shopping environment that is both modern and of a very high standard. KeyStore More is designed to elevate our offer to enable the most progressive retailers to expand their range and provide more of the products and services that our research tells us consumers want. All of this will be supported by a bespoke promotional campaign and enhanced by a brand-new image.

We understand that data analysis is also helping drive the direction of new fascia?
Absolutely. We’re tapping into the extensive data from our own scanning system, allowing us to gather information on consumer habits in our customers’ stores – this allows us to constantly improve category management and product ranging in Keystore More outlets and gives retailers a competitive edge and point of difference over other independents in their area.

How is KeyStore More performing at the moment?
Award-winning retailer Wilson Rea is among the first to adopt the new KeyStore More format and after just three weeks has seen sales increase at his 1,800sq ft store on the outskirts of Lanark. Sales for one week in November against the same period last year were up 10%. The expanded range, coupled with a partial refurbishment of the store, has really struck a chord with his customers and he’s delighted with the result.

So it’s progressive retailers like Wilson that will get the most out of the format?
Yes. Wilson has shown he is willing to put a lot of effort and investment into his new KeyStore More and it’s that sort of commitment that will make the new format a real success. He has already installed new signage, LED back lighting, new shelving and a TV promotional screen as part of the refit.

And a new food to go area too?
Yes, that’s right. Business is already very brisk at the new food to go counter with Simply Coffee, breakfast rolls, soup, pies, sausage rolls plus hot and cold filled rolls all selling well.

Is Wilson buying into the local sourcing ethos of KeyStore More?
Wilson has long believed in stocking local and regional lines so he buys from people like butcher Alan Elliot in Lanark, The Apple Pie Bakery in Kirkmuirhill and Overton Farm in nearby Crossford. Fresh, local and food to go are at the core of the KeyStore More consumer offer and Wilson’s store sits right in the Clyde Valley so he’s able to source a lot of great products.

Tell us then, how many KeyStore More stores are there out there?
We have already converted 11 stores now to KeyStore More and we are confident that the fascia will strengthen retailers’ armoury in Scotland’s competitive convenience store sector.

And can you put a number on how many you’d like to see join the new fascia?
It’s always difficult to forecast but we do aim to have 20 stores trading as KeyStore More by the end of 2018.