At Nearby, we look for retail partners who are as passionate about their customers, their products, and their stores as we are,” says Nearby IRL sales manager, Jason McSteen.
“Two years can be seen as a relatively short timeframe in the FMCG market, but when you consider the challenges of rising costs, labour shortages, the unprecedented pandemic, and Brexit, the Nearby brand continues to enjoy a rapid growth rate. There is a real desire from local retailers to join the Nearby family.
“New Nearby retailers have experienced increased levels of footfall to their stores, with phenomenal growth across impulse, while Nearby’s exclusive coffee concept – CUPPA, is proving popular among consumers. These are clear signs that the Nearby brand is establishing its own identity in the convenience market in Ireland and is becoming a flagship brand for independent retailing.”
The Nearby brand launched in 2021 and Jason describes it as “a modern, on-trend, and eye-catching concept that lifts the look and feel of each store, both inside and out.”
According to Jason, customer feedback remains positive, and the result is a continuing increase in footfall levels across the Nearby estate.
“The strapline of ‘Never too far from home’ is an accurate description of the location of any of our stores, with many stores located in the heart of their local community,” he says.
Partnership has been key to Nearby’s success to date and it is an approach that Jason wants to develop as the brand further expands its retailer network.
“From day one, the Nearby team will work with retailers to fully understand what makes their store unique,” he says.
“We don’t ask for long-term contracts or marketing fees. What we do is work with the retailer, for the retailer. Our award-winning team have a clear passion and understanding of all aspects of retail. The Nearby facilitation team always places the retailer first and delivers a cost-effective fit-out, with minimum disruption to store activities, ensuring that the requirements of the store and of its customer base are delivered on time.
“Nearby offers independent retailers an exciting, fresh, and modern brand whose key focus is to work alongside its retailers, build its community credentials, and offer value while maximising retail sales and margins for its stores. Our flexible and market-leading package allows retailers to tailor their shop to the needs of their customers. We provide the market knowledge that your store needs to thrive in today’s ever-changing marketplace. We are your partner of choice. Our passionate team is always nearby.”
As the cost-of-living-crisis continues to impact household budgets, Jason says that Nearby’s parent company, S&W Wholesale continues to offer “an excellent value proposition” for retailers with “superb everyday pricing across all the vital categories.”
As part of its ‘Bring Home the Value’ campaign, the Nearby brand has also launched four “strong deals” that will run during each promotional period of the retail calendar.
“Staying ahead of the curve by continuously monitoring consumer trends and adopting a proactive approach with our retailers is a major focus for the Nearby brand,” he says.
“This means that our retailers can be confident that they are providing the best service for each of their customers.”
Logistics & Supply Chain
Retailers who join the Nearby franchise can expect to receive a minimum of two deliveries a week. A wide range of products across over 8,000 ambient, chilled, fresh, and frozen ranges are available.
According to Jason, the chilled and fresh ranges are ordered on a pick to zero basis to ensure they are delivered fresh, offering “their maximum shelf life and the highest quality taste” for the consumer.
S&W is based on the border outside Newry and has recently demonstrated a further commitment to Nearby retailers on each side of the border, with plans well underway to build a 20-acre landmark site.
“This site will almost double our warehouse space to 180,000 square feet, hosting all product categories under one roof,” he says.
“The move will also see an increase in our fleet of lorries, allowing retailers to receive deliveries even more conveniently to their store.”
It will also herald the expansion of the Nearby workforce, which is currently in excess of 300 people, and the improvement of the brand’s carbon footprint with the introduction of solar panels, electric cars, and a new recycling area within the site.
“This redevelopment project further cements S&W’s drive, passion and relationship with local suppliers, retailers, partners, and the consumer, by ensuring that shelves are regularly stocked with a wide variety of choice,” says Jason.