Trade talk Q&A with Alastair Ronaldson, Marketing & Sales Manager of Ross Care WHAT PROMPTED THE DECISION TO ACQUIRE WICKER MOBILITY? “The opportunity arose as the previous owners, who run a prominent pharmacy in Sheffield, were looking to make some changes to their wider business. However, the location and style of the operation could not have better suited Ross Care. “The retail arm of Ross Care has been on a journey of development and repositioning over the last four years and whilst any project is always evolving, more than ever we have a real sense of clarity on our specific style of service. “Having established our fourth store located in Manchester, we were ready to expand the principles we’ve developed elsewhere.”
Ross Care intends to invest in the retailer to enhance its existing services and capabilities in the wheelchair space
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WHAT CONVINCED ROSS CARE THAT WICKER MOBILITY WOULD BE A GOOD ACQUISITION? “Wicker Mobility is located in the centre of Sheffield and has been in operation for nearly 30 years. As a resident myself, I have been aware of their excellent reputation for some time. “They have a large, well-stocked showroom, but more than that, comprise of a highly skilled and experienced team. They offer a full range of equipment and services, but in particular, have a reputation as a specialist supplier of wheelchairs. Their customer reach extends to much of the North of England and Midlands, which fits extremely coherently with Ross Care’s existing footprint working
Just prior to the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus, wheelchair services and mobility equipment provider Ross Care expanded its retail presence with the acquisition of Wicker Mobility. The purchase took its tally of stores to five across the North East, North West and Yorkshire & the Humber. With the company busy dealing with the fallout of lockdown over much of spring and summer, THIIS caught up with Marketing & Sales Manager Alastair Ronaldson to learn more about Ross Care’s plans for the long-established Sheffield store, as well as its wider retail ambitions.
with NHS Wheelchair Services. “Additionally, the site links well geographically with two of our other exiting retail sites in Leeds & Manchester.” WHY HAS ROSS CARE DECIDED TO KEEP THE WICKER NAME RATHER THAN REBRAND THE STORE UNDER ITS OWN MONIKER? “Wicker Mobility had a substantial base of loyal customers and we needed to provide them with the assurance that the existing team and location remain very much intact and available to support them as they always have done. Equally, with their prominent location on Sheffield’s inner ring road, it’s a well recognised name within the city. “We have instead altered the name
The addition of Wicker to Ross Care’s retail family brings with it invaluable expertise in the specialist wheelchair sector