Wholesaler swoops

JW Filshill buys cash and carry firm Iain Hill

Simon Hannah and Iain Hill

Food and drink wholesaler JW Filshill, one of Scotland’s oldest independent operators, has acquired Renfrewshire cash and carry business Iain Hill Ltd.

Iain Hill is a delivered wholesaler that specialises in soft drinks, confectionery, snacks and other impulse products.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, comes ahead of family-owned Filshill relocating from nearby Hillington Park to a 123,034 sq ft distribution centre at nearby Westway Park, close to Glasgow Airport.

Simon Hannah, chief executive at JW Filshill, said: “Iain Hill Ltd is a perfect fit for Filshill given the many synergies between the two businesses.

“Filshill and Iain Hill use the same IT and app suppliers which will make the transition easier.

“I have known Iain Hill and his wife, Aileen, for many years and they are excellent operators with a strong and loyal customer base and an exceptional team of employees who we are looking forward to welcoming to the Filshill family and who will benefit from career progression opportunities in the future.

“Iain Hill’s customers will benefit from a more extensive product range including fresh, chilled, alcohol and al grocery offer – our business development managers and their teams will work closely with those customers to help them develop their businesses.

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“As we prepare to move to our new headquarters, having Iain Hill’s experienced staff and assets, including modern HGVs, puts us in an excellent position to hit the ground running and expand our customer base.”

The acquisition also means that Filshill is looking to recruit locally for additional drivers and warehouse operatives.

Iain Hill, managing director, who launched his business from his parents’ garage 32 years ago, said: “There’s a great synergy between the two businesses and the most important thing for me is that my staff will be moving to a like-minded independent, family-owned business.

“After 32 years in the industry, this is the right time for me to exit the business and give my staff, most of whom have been with me many years, the opportunity to work in a purpose-built, state-of-the-art distribution hub that will be just three miles from Linwood.

“For my customers, the number of food and drink lines available to them increases from 1,200 to 6,500 overnight so it a great opportunity for them to reassess their businesses and plan for growth.”

Filshill, a fifth-generation business, saw turnover soar 23% to £191 million in the year ending 31 January 2021, the most recent accounts filed.

The business was founded in Glasgow in 1875 and supplies KeyStore retail outlets across Scotland and the north of England, national accounts including the Scottish Prison Service. It also has 1,600 independent customers.



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