Food and Drink Show NI

SHS still going strong

Des McCullough
Des McCullough

SHS Sales & Marketing is recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s leading sales and marketing companies. But, according to the Belfast-based specialist, understanding the needs of independent retailers has been central to its success.

The firm has a reputation with buyers for their extensive category knowledge which includes grocery, confectionery, beverages, household and healthcare. Their sales team has a vast expertise and experience across all channels, in particular the independents where the company has excelled in delivering strong business growth across all key customers in 2012.

In the last year the company added a raft of best-selling High Street brands including Bottlegreen, Sanex, Chewits, Marigold Gloves and Tyrrells Crisps to the impressive portfolio of brands it carries across various channels.

SHS Sales & Marketing has grown substantially since it was founded more than 35 years ago, but remains faithful to its independent roots. One of the first major contracts it won in its early days was with Colgate and that relationship has continued right up to this day.

Des McCullough, Sales Director of SHS Sales & Marketing, says the company’s considerable brand experience and knowledge of the independent retail sector is a winning combination for all.

“We understand the trading pressures that retailers are under and there’s no doubt that independents have been feeling the squeeze more than most. We continue to work with them and our brand owners to identify new approaches and solutions that make every shelf inch work harder and generate strong returns.”

“Our strategy has been to create a clear market advantage by using our proven expertise and experience of developing a wide range of categories. That has been underpinned by strong business ties and a commitment to further develop and support our brands. We have a proven track record in competitive markets because we understand how to help boost sales and performance for everyone. We know we add something to the proposition to make a difference.”

Backed by an impressive and progressive brand portfolio, SHS Sales & Marketing is part of the SHS Group, one of Ireland’s leading FMCG companies. The Group provides central resources to SHS Sales & Marketing and a strong and stable financial base.

That backing puts the company in a strong position according to Des and has enabled it to forge strong links with significant brand owners.

“Many of the brands we represent in Northern Ireland we are also representing in ROI or GB” says Des “And that is testimony to building strong relationships one step at a time with our Brand Partners”.

“SHS Sales & Marketing has built a reputation for the highest level of per¬formance in sales, customer manage¬ment, business support and logistics. Our channel expertise coupled with long standing relationships helps us to maximise growth opportunities for brands and leverage new platforms.

“We’ve seen a marked increase in grocery, non-food, household and healthcare brand owners turning to us for out¬sourcing support. As the economic reality of funding an in-house sales structure hits home harder than ever more companies are looking for alternative means of coverage. We continue to work with some of the leading companies in these sectors who trust us to manage important brands including Tunnocks, Jordans & Ryvita, Finish, Nurofen, Lemsip, Airwick, Cilit Bang, Jeyes Fluid, Princes Food & Drink, Primula, Shloer, Neil’s Flour and Savlon.

“Brand owners are continually looking for ways to simplify their structures and streamline processes in order to devote more time to future proofing brands through NPD and consumer marketing, that’s their area of expertise and gaining distribution in the NI trade and driving volume sales is ours” continues Des McCullough.

“We enable brand owners to concentrate on their key priorities such as NPD while we drive sales of existing products and offer solutions in areas such as sales, logistics and business support. It effectively reduces complexity and provides a tailored solution.”

In 2012 SHS Sales & Marketing also strengthened its relationship with Princes Foods through an agreement to extend the range of products it currently distributes on behalf of the brand owner. The deal will now see it take responsibility for the Crosse & Blackwell range of catering products, Hartleys canned fruit and Batchelors canned soups and vegetables in Northern Ireland.

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