A vital link

Whether you’re a global giant or a small independent, all retailers face challenges when it comes to expanding their customer base, driving sales, and building their brand. Sales and marketing companies have the expertise required to deliver the right strategy to fit your business’s unique needs


Brand Central

25 April 2023

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A sales and marketing distribution agency that is the right fit for your brand offers a veritable plethora of advantages for brands. With years of expertise in the field, their know-how has the potential to find long-lasting customers in an irresolutely fast-paced market. For many brands, it is a challenging proposition to find the right market all whilst continuing to keep an eye on competitors and ensuring that their NPD keeps pace with all the latest consumer trends. This is where an agency with excellent, specific marketing expertise can step in to help take your brand to the next level.

Webwriter Spotlight’s Alexis Davis has outlined several key advantages of using agencies which are useful when deciding which one represents the right fit to distribute your product.

Customer satisfaction guaranteed

The number one benefit on this list is cost-effective customer services. As Davis points out, for a new or up-and coming brand – or simply one which is reaching out to a new geographical market – investing financially in the hiring of your own distribution team, could prove an onerous and costly affair – in terms of both time and money. This is particularly true when it comes to training staff in providing a high standard of customer service. Unfortunately, as new staff, they simply might not even be able to answer, comment or solve customer queries in the early stages. This could have a potentially severe knock-on impact in terms of reputational damage to your brand. In comparison, a sales and marketing agency with a strong track record, is used to working with retailers on a regular basis and their thorough understanding of the market will allow them to navigate this terrain efficiently.

Indeed as champion sellers, they have firmly established retail networks and they know what will appeal to specific retailers. This means they will have a firm grasp of how to showcase your brand, paying careful attention to your ‘brand story’ which will resonate with your target audience and make your brand catch retailers’ attention as a memorable and worthwhile addition to their shelves.

A full-service distributor can also do much more than just sell your product; they can also train and educate retailers’ personnel, set up signage, and launch in-store promotions as part of their service. An agency can also educate the retailer’s team and store employees about how to effectively communicate with the customers and tell them about the products.

Substantial savings

As Davis concludes, all of the above pointers have one thing in common and that is you are going to make huge savings supplying and selling your products in the market. Before you even roll out a marketing and advertising campaign for your product, you are sure that the product will have already been distributed and accessible to interested people and businesses in your market. You can then use the money you have saved for more product research and development, making improvements to the product, its quality, the packaging, and social media campaigns. Ultimately, this work could make your product an ever greater hit and so hiring an experienced agency really is one move that can result in a win-win scenario all-round.



Address: Naas Road­, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, D22 XN73

Phone: 01 4130100

E-mail: info@ampersandsales.ie

Web: ampersandsales.ie

Key brands: 

Sonas Sweets, Cleeve’s Irish Confectionery, Ballymaloe, The Irish Biltong Company, Aqua Vape, Agio, Villiger, Davidoff Cigars, Montecristo, Partagas, Trinidad, Villa Dominicana, Clipper, Djeep, Swan, OCB, Newport, Santa Carolina, Rioja Vega, Cecilia Beretta, Pasqua Wines, Edmond de Rothschild, Cecilia Beretta, Paco & Lola, Coral Reef, Faber Non-Alcoholic Wines: See website for full list.

Ampersand is a family-owned business that has been in operation since 1947 and is recognised as Ireland’s leading FMCG sales and marketing distributor to the convenience and off-licence channels. The company derives its name from the “&” symbol, which is used as a link between paired words, reflecting its core business as a link between brands, retailers, and consumers.

Ampersand’s product portfolio is sourced from over 50 suppliers based both in Ireland and all over the world. Specialising in confectionery, snack foods, cigars, tobacco accessories, vaping and wine, Ampersand trades with all retail groups and offers a broad range of services and specialities to get cutting-edge brands onto the market and into the hands of consumers. The company provides nationwide distribution, serving over 3,000 direct accounts across the Irish market, spanning every town and shop format in the Republic of Ireland.

Passionate sales team

Ampersand has a passionate sales team of ten highly experienced representatives on the road who offer nationwide coverage in all trade sectors supported by an internal telesales team of three. The sales team have built great relationships and trust with their customers and have full product knowledge, offering tailored presentations, promotions, and a product offering that best suits each store and their individual needs.

Ampersand also offers expertise in key account management with strong relationships with retail head offices. The team have a wealth of experience in both trade and consumer marketing, and they work closely with all their brand partners to develop brand building activities that will appeal to the relevant target markets.

Ampersand’s approach and expertise in brand distribution, sales, and marketing make it a trusted and reliable partner for brand owners looking to grow and develop their brands in Ireland.

Shelton Distributors Ltd.


Address: Unit K7, Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole, Dublin, D24T858

Phone: 01 401 8455

E-mail: info@shelton.ie

Web: www.shelton.ie and www.sheltondistribution.com

Key brands:

Look-O-Look, Walkers Toffee, PEZ, Zaini Chocolates, Hamlet Chocolates, Red Band Jellies, Trolli, Lutti, Cavendish & Harvey, Anthon Berg Chocolates, Belfine, Sante Healthier Options, Go-On Protein Bars, Yummy-Lix Pops, and WOM Novelties.

Type of business:

Brand management, sales, marketing & distribution of premium confectionery and grocery brands to the multiple, wholesale, symbol and independent retail grocery trade. Shelton strives to provide exceptional customer care and service through its field sales personnel, telesales and online support.

Key contacts:

Managing director: Shay Barber

Director: Jim Barber

General manager: Eric Barber

Finance: Bernard Forrester

SHS Sales & Marketing


Address:  Unit Q1, Aerodrome Business Park, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin

Telephone:  01 401 6200

Email:  info@shs.ie

Web: www.shs-sales.ie

Company description:

SHS Sales & Marketing is one of Ireland’s leading sales, marketing and distribution companies. The company provides an outsourced solution which encompasses sales, marketing, invoicing, credit control, logistics and quality assurance.  With offices in Belfast and Dublin, SHS Sales & Marketing has become a dominant player within the FMCG marketplace since its inception in 1975. SHS Sales & Marketing manages a wide portfolio of blue-chip grocery, household and healthcare brands throughout Ireland.

Key brands:

Askeys, Benylin, Biobag, Bonjela, Bottlegreen, Brasso, British Pepper & Spice, Cara Matches, Calpol, Calgon, Carefree, Cillit Bang, Clearasil, Cricket Lighters, Crucials Sauces, Deep Heat, Deep Freeze, Dettol, Disprin, Duni, Durex, Dylon, E45, Finish, Gaviscon, Got2be, Greenpolly, Irish Popcorn, Harpic, Jammie Dodgers, Lemsip, Listerine, Live XXL, Lyons Biscuits, Johnson & Johnson Baby Care Range,  Jordans Cereals, Maguire & Paterson Matches, Marigold Gloves, Marigold Cloths & Scourers, Mars Cookies, Maryland Cookies, Meridian, Primula, Napisan, Options, Optrex, Organix, Ovaltine, Ryvita, Scholl, Shloer, Sheen, Strepsils, Steradent, Silvo, Terry’s Chocolate Orange, TommeeTippee, Twinings, Vanish. Veet, Vileda, Wagon Wheels, Windolene, WKD, Woolite, Zip Ignition products

GM Marketing Ltd


Address: 9 Hillview Road, Belfast, BT14 7BT

Phone: +44 (0)28 9026 7080

E-mail: info@gmmarketing.co.uk

Web: www.gmmarketing.co.uk

Key brands:

Yazoo, Tilda, Fox’s, Nando’s, Filippo Berio, Canti, Costa, VK, TommeeTippee, Mug Shot, Hipp; see company website for full list.

GM Marketing was founded by Gerard McAdorey over 23 years ago. With a focus on core grocery and non-food categories, and a continuously growing team, GM Marketing works with partners to build impactful brand presence across the UK and Ireland. From experienced sales and field coverage to best-in-class marketing, supply chain and finance –its ambition is to be more than just a distributor, the team want to be an extension of their brand partners in local markets and channels.  ​

It may not be the biggest player in the market, but GM Marketing sees that as its biggest strength, the company is passionate about unleashing potential, building brands, and delivering results through focus and dedication.  ​

Trusted by brands

“We’ve doubled our business over the last three years, and our ambition is to do the same again within the next three,” says GM Marketing founder Gerard McAdorey

GM Marketing has a varied portfolio spanning food, beverage, baby, household, and foodservice brands, including well-known household names such as Fox’s Biscuits, Tilda, Nando’s, Filippo Berio, and a more recent addition to the portfolio, Yazoo. In 2022, the business announced a new distribution agreement with Global Brands, making its first step into licensed trade which includes award-winning range of RTD beverages, VK, Hooch and Shake Baby Shake canned cocktails. With a satellite depot in Dublin and bonded warehousing in both Belfast and Dublin, GM Marketing is now servicing both independent off-sales and off licence groups across the island of Ireland.

Route to market

With a 70+ employee business, GM Marketing has two distribution hubs, Belfast and Leeds; enabling the business to easily drive distribution in both the UK and Irish markets.

Commenting on the business, founder Gerard McAdorey said: “The business has excellent relationships with all Irish multiple and convenience retailers as well as pharmacy and wholesale cash & carry; with a full team of key account managers, sales reps and merchandisers, equipped with the latest technology and reporting tools. We’re a mid-sized operation that’s looking to grow significantly over the coming years. We’ve doubled our business over the last three years, and our ambition is to do the same again within the next three. The values and approach that have got us through our first two decades will be what helps us grow over the next couple too. Relationships are key for us.”


With a head office based in Belfast, GM Marketing is best placed to take full advantage of being in the UK, whilst remaining part of the European single market

Since 2021, GM Marketing has been approached by multiple brands seeking help to navigate the complexities of the situation. McAdorey says, “because we’ve now built the expertise and knowledge within our team to ensure we can get products into Northern Ireland and distributed into ROI, in the most efficient way, and at the most competitive price, we’ve been able to move quickly, find solutions to problems, and ensure a seamless transition and continual supply for brands, whilst avoiding unnecessary tariffs and paperwork. As the team’s head office is based in Belfast, GM Marketing is best placed to take full advantage of being in the UK, whilst remaining part of the European single market. The message from McAdorey is clear: “If you’re struggling to access and supply your customers in the Irish market because of any Brexit issue, we are here and we want to help.”

Passionate about brands

GM Marketing doesn’t just want to be an agent that moves boxes – it wants to be an extension of its brand teams in the local markets and channels – showing that GM Marketing really understands the partner’s brand and how to build it with purpose, to deliver results. “We’re never complacent about those relationships and that means something to our partners,” says McAdorey.

Understanding brands

The business understands brands vs competitors as GM Marketing also owns its own; household fragrance brands and a low sugar, better-for-you snack brand called Free’ist. Having developed and built products from scratch and becoming a manufacturer through the acquisition of Favourit Herbs & Spices, GM Marketing understands what it takes to develop a brand, and wouldn’t ask principal partners to do something its team wouldn’t do themselves – which is exactly what clients want to see.








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