Spotlight on IAA finalists – Retail excellence: Brownlies of Biggar

Spotlight on IAA finalists – Retail excellence: Brownlies of Biggar

Eye-catching displays a winner with customers

While we wait for the results of the Independent Achievers Academy awards, we take a closer look at some of the 12 retailers with a Post Office who are through to the finals.

Biggar Post Office at Brownlies of Biggar, run by Donna and Bruce Morgan, is through to the finals of the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA awards) in the in-store display category.

They are highly regarded for the shop’s display of whisky and gin and seasonal displays at Halloween and Christmas, which all really grab the attention of shoppers.

Bruce Morgan has built up a lot of knowledge on Scottish whisky, with an eye-catching display in a whisky barrel and tasting notes on the 70 varieties they stock, including a few examples of Irish whiskey. Although, he says Scotch is far more popular!

There is also a beautifully displayed gin table with 50 types of gin and a wide array of flavoured tonics. Bruce has also created tasting notes for all the gins and mixers.

There are digital displays in the off-licence section about the latest offers.

Donna Morgan, said: “It is a small store, but we make theatre with our displays. We are well-known for our extensive whisky and gin stock and displays. When we took on the store twelve years ago we had three brands of whisky and three of gin, now we have lots more to choose from and my husband has done lots of learning to find out more about the different varieties.”

Mrs Morgan is also very lucky to have a member of staff, Ashley Cane, who is very artistic and creates beautiful displays at Halloween and Christmas and adds extra finishing touches to displays for instance the One4All gift card display to help grab people’s attention.

One customer is from London, but visits Scotland once a month and has a real liking for the wide range of Borders Biscuits they sell, much wider than the selection in supermarkets. So Mrs Morgan has got a box of the customer’s favourite biscuit to take back across the border.

A recent McVities biscuit display near the tea and coffee aisle also helped to boost sales as people chose a pack of biscuits to enjoy with their takeaway hot drink.

Many of the customers at Brownlies of Biggar like to cook from scratch and they often get asked for more unusual items that they are happy to source for their customers.

These various displays and initiatives have helped Biggar Post Office & store to reach the final of the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA), which Post Office has been involved with since 2013. It is a business development programme which enables motivated retailers to grow their sales and profits by following expert advice, including Post Office guidance on great customer service. 

Retailers benchmark themselves against all 12 categories and the best performers become the ‘top 100’ retailers. The top 100 are all visited and independently scored to create a shortlist for the awards and there are 33 finalists in various categories in the IAA awards.