Achievers rewards Scotland’s most innovative wholesalers

SWA Achievers Awards 2020

The innovation, excellence and professionalism of wholesalers from across Scotland have been rewarded at the annual Scottish Wholesale Achievers awards.

Now in its 18th year and organised by the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA), Achievers saw some of Scotland’s most progressive wholesaling business claim awards at the event in Edinburgh last month.

Best Cash & Carry went to United Wholesale (Scotland) for its depot at Queenslie in the east end of Glasgow. The judges admired the rebirth of the Queenslie depot as a high-tech, innovative and interactive “warehouse of the future” with digital screens highlighting promotional activity and “category advice available throughout the depot to a higher standard than any other depot”.

SWA Achievers Awards 2020

United Wholesale (Scotland) also raised a glass to Lorraine MacPherson, its symbol development manager who won Employee of the Year. The judges highlighted the “warmth and sincerity” of retailer testimonials about Lorraine, saying she was held in very high esteem and “would go over and above to meet retailer needs, even stretching into her own personal time” to achieve the best possible customer service.

Last but not least, United Wholesale (Scotland) had a third reason to celebrate with Jason Butler, operations support manager, claiming the new Rising Star of Wholesale award.

SWA Achievers Awards 2020

The judges praised Jason’s “passionate account” of his achievements at UWS, including his humble approach and his pride in his company and his colleagues.

CJ Lang claimed the Best Symbol Group award with the way it has updated the business across the board to maximise output and quality of service to the retailer.

“There is such a focus on quality of service across all areas of the business which was so clearly demonstrated in their entry presentation,” commented Gary Routledge, senior national business manager (wholesale and convenience) at JUUL Labs, sponsor of the category.

SWA Achievers Awards 2020

CJ Lang shared the Best Delivered Operation (Retail) category with JW Filshill, the judges being unable to split the pair. Filshill also shared the Best Marketing Initiative with Bidfood but did win the Best Licensed Wholesaler award outright, the judges stating that the company’s “strategy for bringing NPD to market and working with their customers in a progressive manner to ensure they are ahead of market trends”.

SWA Achievers Awards 2020

Booker also triumphed, claiming the SWA’s inaugural Green Wholesaler of the Year award. Sponsor Zero Waste Scotland’s communications and PR manager, Claire Munro, praised the wholesaler’s long-term commitment to sustainability. She said: “No stone was left unturned by the team at all levels to cut carbon emissions, reduce energy use, waste prevention and minimisation, boosting recycling, and stocking a range of environmentally-friendly products.”

SWA Achievers Awards 2020

In the suppliers’ awards it was AG Barr who came out on top winning four of the awards, including the fiercely contested category of Best Overall Service, judged by members of the SWA voting each month for the shortlisted suppliers over a four-month period.

SWA Achievers Awards 2020

Supplier Sales Executive of the Year, sponsored by Unitas Wholesale, went to the company’s regional BDM for Scotland, Steven McGarry. In the Project Scotland category, which highlights suppliers’ understanding of the Scottish wholesale industry and their commitment to the sector, AG Barr won for its ‘Launch of Irn-Bru Energy’.

Finally, Best Advertising Campaign, which saw wholesalers vote for their favourite advert, went to Irn-Bru ‘Get Some Irn In You’.

SWA Achievers Awards 2020

Colin Smith, SWA Chief Executive, said: “I applaud our wholesalers and suppliers who continue to find new and innovative ways to grow their businesses and develop their staff, create new revenue streams and provide the best possible customer service.”

“As your trade association, we are working on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome for industry across a raft of legislative issues. We are also working to create our very own SWA Wholesale Sustainability Charter and, of course, we have launched our new SWA Training Academy.

“Developing a skilled workforce and working with members to invest in the future sustainability of the wholesale industry is top of the agenda for us in our 80th anniversary year.”

SWA Achievers 2020: the Winners

Wholesaler Awards

  • Best Cash & Carry: United Wholesale (Scotland), Queenslie
  • Runner-up: Batleys Sher, Glasgow
  • Highly Commended: Makro, Edinburgh
  • Best Symbol Group: CJ Lang & Son (Spar Scotland)
  • Runner-up: JW Filshill (KeyStore)
  • Highly Commended: Booker (Premier)
  • Best Delivered Operation (Retail): CJ Lang & Son and JW Filshill
  • Highly Commended: Booker
  • Best Licensed Operation: JW Filshill
  • Runner-up: CJ Lang & Son
  • Highly Commended: Inverarity Morton
  • Employee of the Year: Lorraine MacPherson, symbol development manager, United Wholesale (Scotland)
  • Runners-up: Paula Middleton, marketing manager, CJ Lang & Son and Shirley Ruane, KeyStore area manager, JW Filshill
  • Highly Commended: Anne McDonald, technical and health and safety manager, Lomond Foods
  • Best Marketing Initiative: Bidfood Scotland for its ‘Grabbing Goodness’ campaign and JW Filshill for its ‘KeyStore Football Fever’ campaign
  • Highly Commended: United Wholesale (Scotland) for its ‘Warehouse of the Future’ campaign
  • Rising Star of Wholesale: Jason Butler, operations support manager, United Wholesale (Scotland)
  • Runner-up: Molly Borys, category marketing mananager, Inverarity Morton
  • Highly Commended: Lauren Ingram, bakery manager, Lomond Foods
  • Green Wholesaler of the Year: Booker
  • Runner-up: Sutherland Brothers
  • Highly Commended: Lomond Foods

Supplier Awards

  • Best Advertising Campaign: Irn-Bru for ‘Get Some Irn In You’
  • Project Scotland: AG Barr for the ‘Launch of Irn-Bru Energy’
  • Runner-up: JUUL Labs for its ‘Mission Scotland’ project
  • Highly Commended: Nairn’s Oatcakes for its ‘Savoury Snacking Goes Pop in Scotland’ initiative
  • Best Overall Service by Suppliers: AG Barr
  • Runner-up: JTI
  • Highly Commended: Heineken
  • Supplier Sales Executive of the Year: Steven McGarry, regional business development manager for Scotland, AG Barr
  • Runner-up: Hazel Boyd, Heineken
  • Highly Commended: Jamie Shiel, Angus Soft Fruits