JW Filshill bolsters business development team in north of England

FAST-GROWING Glasgow-based wholesaler JW Filshill is bolstering its presence in the north of England with the appointment of experienced retail professional Graham Cairns as regional development manager.

Cairns, based in Darlington and covering north-east England, joins the delivered wholesaler after a spell with Beanies Flavoured Coffee, immediately prior to which he had been with Palmer & Harvey for six years. He will report to Jeanette Gordon, Filshill’s business development manager for the north of England.

Filshill, which operates the KeyStore retail fascia, sees the north of England as a key strand of its long-term strategy to grow the KeyStore brand. Since Gordon’s appointment in February, the wholesaler has grown its business in the region by 50% year on year.

Craig Brown, retail sales director at Filshill, said: “Jeanette has done a sterling job promoting and growing KeyStore in recent months. It is clear that retailers are seeking an alternative to other fascias and symbol groups, and our more hands-on and personal approach is striking a chord with customers who are looking for a point of difference over their competitors.

“Graham Cairns has vast experience of the convenience sector and will work with Jeanette to further grow Filshill’s business in the north of England, expanding our KeyStore portfolio and bringing new customers on board.

“KeyStore provides a strong brand identity in a busy and evolving convenience marketplace and our multi-format offer – comprising KeyStore, KeyStore Express and our fast-growing KeyStore More fascia – gives retailers more flexibility to run their stores the way they want to.”

Filshill’s growth in the north of England has already exceeded its 2018 targets. “We know there is significant potential to grow our business in the north of England and now that we have a ‘Team England’ I am confident we can take things to the next level,” said Jeanette Gordon. “Retailers find our partnership approach and strong focus on customer service refreshing – this will help stimulate growth and maximise profit.”

Cairns described Filshill as an “ambitious and forward-thinking” wholesaler that understands its customers. “Jeanette has gained customers’ trust and strengthened KeyStore’s foothold in the north of England,” he said. “My role is to emulate her success in the north-east of the country and gain further exposure for KeyStore.

“KeyStore is an exciting brand that I have long admired and I look forward to forging new relationships with independent retailers and suppliers as part of a business that understands the challenges faced by the family businesses that are driving modern convenience retailing in the UK.”

Currently supplying over 185 independent KeyStore outlets across Scotland and the north of England, Filshill is a member of the Unitas Wholesale buying group.