CJ Lang delivers a 10.7% increase in profits

CJ Lang & Son achieved a 10.7% rise in pre-tax profits to £3.4 million in the year ending 30 April 2022.

The Scottish SPAR wholesaler and retailer also saw its margin rise – by 0.3% to 23.3% – while its turnover was down slightly, by 0.1% to £212.3 million.

The Dundee-based business points out that the results were delivered against the backdrop of a challenging economic climate, which continues to drive changes in shopping behaviour. The relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions saw a return to some pre-pandemic shopping behaviours, while the habits of shopping locally were retained by a noticeable proportion of consumers.

CEO Colin McLean commented: “The previous 12 months saw changes continue in the retail landscape as we finally emerged from Covid-19 to move into the cost-of-living crisis and a very uncertain future globally.

“We know that there are tough times ahead for all, and our primary focus is to offer a value proposition to help support our customers and staff through the ongoing uncertainty. Being solely Scottish focused has enabled us to adapt quickly and react flexibly to the changing retail landscape and to continue to provide a first-class service to our independent retail customers, consumers and communities at a time when they have needed us most.”

The family-owned company has delivered its fourth year of growth in profitability. Investments have been made in key resources, both within the board and executive management team and within company-owned stores, with significant upgrades to the Crosshouse, Gatehouse of Fleet, Spean Bridge and Balmacara shops in the last 12 months. CJ Lang also acquired a store in Dalbeattie, the first addition to its company-owned store portfolio in over five years. It now has 107 stores, and distributes to an additional 200 independent SPAR Scotland shops.

In 2021, £2 million was invested in rolling out the CJ’s food-to-go offer.

In 2021 £2 million was invested in the roll-out of the CJ’s food-to-go offer across the company-owned stores, and in 2022 there has been a continued focus on enhancing this offer, as well as improving and implementing consistent store standards.

McLean added: “Despite the changing landscape, we remain committed to our strategy for profitable growth. We have continued to implement our key pillars across the business, including investing in our food-to-go offering and improved profitability and pricing, and optimising our distribution processes.”

In September 2022 CJ Lang held its biggest ever trade show, attended by over 800 delegates. “This event was key for engaging with our people, communicating with our suppliers, customers and colleagues on our strategy and successes, while introducing new products and services to the marketplace and sharing our plans for the future of our business,” he said.

“We also continued to grow our independent customer base and make improvements to our offer to meet the changing customer needs within convenience retailing. We are now attracting the best of Scottish retailers to join SPAR Scotland thanks to our competitive wholesale package, but we are also focusing on quality rather than quantity, ensuring that retailers with our name above the door adhere to our standards with appropriate remedial action being taken on those who fail to maintain them.

“With our vision of developing a solid business not just for today but for tomorrow too, we have grown independent sales, and are excited to welcome on board more retailers in the future and further expand our relationships.

“Our stores cover all sizes of communities across Scotland; our customers are our neighbours. I would like to thank them all, along with our suppliers and our colleagues, for their continued support,” he concluded.


Published Date: October 13, 2022
Category: Wholesale Industry News