INDUSTRY VOTES SPAR WHOLESALER THE BEST BUSINESS IN SCOTLAND

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CJ Lang and Son, the long-established Dundee-based independent food and drink wholesaler, has been named Best Retail Wholesaler (Delivered) at the prestigious Scottish Wholesale Achievers awards.

Achievers, now in its ninth year, was launched by the Edinburgh-based Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) with the aim of rewarding professionalism and excellence and improving standards across all sectors of the wholesale industry in Scotland. Some 480 people attended the gala dinner and awards presentation, hosted by BBC Scotland TV presenter Catriona Shearer, at the Sheraton Grand in the capital.

CJ Lang, which owns 95 Spar stores across Scotland and supplies 380 independent Spar outlets north of the Border, fended off stiff competition from businesses all over the country to win the sought-after Best Retail Wholesaler (Delivered) accolade, sponsored by Imperial Tobacco.

Judges praised the Dundee firm’s level of innovation, ability to be flexible in a fast-paced marketplace and its high level of customer service. CJ Lang was also praised for its “slick systems and processes, plus a first-class training and development programme for its staff and retail customers alike”.

In addition, the judges were impressed by the wholesaler’s high level of customer interaction through trade events, round tables, and both online and traditional communication methods. They said: “In recognition of the harsh economic climate, this wholesaler aggressively seeks out efficiencies and effectively implements them across the business. At the same time, it has a thirst to deliver excellence to its customer base.”

Kate Salmon, SWA executive director, commented: “Our industry has always faced change but wholesalers are tremendously resilient and have a strong ability to adapt as the marketplace moves on. CJ Lang is a prime example of a wholesaler that grasps opportunities and rises to the many challenges facing our industry.

“The Spar name is familiar the length and breadth of Scotland and with CJ Lang recently unveiling ambitious plans to open 40 new Spar stores within the next two years, the long-term prospects for our industry are excellent.”