Blueprint re-launch in time for Xmas

The FWD Take Home Blueprint for Ales, Lagers and Cider is re-launched this month, ahead of Christmas, the biggest trading peak of the year for the wholesale sector.

The re-launch comes on top of increasing success for the Blueprint which continues to demonstrate its ability to increase take home sales for those independent retailers who implement it.

The new edition of the educational guidance for independent retailers is now with wholesalers and will be implemented nationally at retail level by the end of the month.

The re-launch is part of Exercise Refresh for the Blueprint activity which is being re-energised by increasing Blueprint connection between wholesalers and retailers.

The “cluster” programme, under which wholesalers nominate a group of their retailers for free in-store makeovers, will be a continued major focus for the Blueprint team in 2007.

Graham Shelley, managing director of IMA Group, which manages the Blueprint activity for the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, said: “Since our involvement with the FWD Blueprint from its debut in 1994, we have taken on board new influences in the wholesale/independent sector.

“Today there is no doubt that the linkage between the wholesaler and the independent retailer – unaffiliated and symbol – is closer than ever.

“We know from playback from our Blueprint advisors in the country generally that there are fewer instances of retailers playing the wholesale field. There is more loyalty to one main wholesaler and our strategy reflects this.

“The efficiency of the activity increases year after year. One reason for this is based on the fact there are fewer retailers but those who are in business are generally very well established.”

IMA Group, based in Manchester, deploys a team of trained Blueprint advisors covering the country.

The advisors, unlike third party merchandisers who often visit shops on behalf of two or three suppliers on a postcode route, are dedicated to the Blueprint only and are experts. They could spend anything from half a day to one and a half days helping the independent owner and his staff to implement the guidance.

Advisors will not carry stock or pressurise retailers into buying products. Their role is to educate and advise and help to physically relay the off licence shelves to professional standards.

The Blueprint carries a copper-bottomed guarantee of increased sales of beers, wines and spirits for those retailers who implement it – the only guarantee of its kind in the total food and drinks market.

Exercise Refresh follows the launch of the new edition of the Blueprint for Alcoholic Ready To Drinks (ARTDs) in August.

To contact the Blueprint helpline dial 0161 440 2770.

l For more about the Blueprint see page 54.

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