Evolution within the wholesale sector will be the principal theme at the annual conference of the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) at Crieff in June, with Booker Group’s chief executive, Charles Wilson, among the keynote speakers.
With wholesalers building on the success and opportunities presented by 2014 and the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland, the “Evolution” umbrella will provide a platform for highlighting some recent innovations within the sector north of the Border – from both a wholesaler’s and supplier’s perspective.
However, it will also facilitate wider discussion among wholesalers and suppliers on how they can collaborate to evolve their businesses. Other keynote speakers already confirmed include Coral Rose managing director of Country Range and Sam Wilcox, group chairman of Landmark Wholesale and managing director of Blakemore Wholesale.
Simon Hannah, meanwhile, an SWA Council member and managing director of Glasgow-based JW Filshill, will take share his experience of evolving his own business. Last year, he launched JW Filshill International Ltd – trading as The Craft Beer Clan of Scotland – to help Scottish craft brewers initially penetrate the lucrative Asia market.
Hannah will discuss the background to the ambitious, new venture, its progress to date and future plans in a joint presentation with fellow “Clansman” David Moore, a GlobalScot who founded consultancy business Eastmoore when he returned to Scotland in 2013 after working for 12 years throughout Asia Pacific with Diageo.
Former Nisa retailer Anx Patel of GoKart, which has developed an app that allows retailers to order directly from suppliers and wholesalers via a tablet or smartphone, will transfer the “evolution” theme to technology in a presentation that will demonstrate how easy it is to exploit information on the move.
Other speakers confirmed are: Antony Begley, managing director of 55 North. As well as running the company that publishes the award-winning trade magazine SLR, Belgey is also managing director of 55 North Retail, a sister business that owns and operates the Falkirk convenience store, Woodlands Local; and Ryan James, chairman of Glasgow Restaurant Association and owner of three popular restaurants under the Two Fat Ladies brand.
SWA president Asim Sarwar, managing director of United Wholesale (Scotland), said: “While we are still building our 2015 conference programme, it is gratifying to be in a position to confirm at this stage that we have secured the services of such top-flight speakers.”
Bookings for the conference, taking place at Crieff Hydro in Perthshire from 12-14 June, are now being taken although you are advised to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.