Independent retailers need to focus on the highest selling lines and industry bodies should be providing them with the necessary advice to do it, according to Sugro managing director Philip Jenkins.
He said retailers tended to stock too many lines and this was affecting availability of a crucial core of about 400 fastest selling lines.
He told the conference: “We need a retail association that the retailer will listen to following a stock it to sell it strategy. If it means that the retailer has to lose some of his range at the expense of a corporate range of product so that they can stock the full range of best sellers 24/7, then as an industry that’s what we should be doing.
“We need a wholesale federation to co-ordinate this with the retail association so the supply chain and the supplier is on board and fully supportive. A Blueprint for availability is something we should be working towards.”
Jenkins also called on wholesalers to take a hard line with members of their symbol groups who did not participate in promotions, and said Sugro did not hesitate to expel such members from its Sweetbreak group.
He said: “We all know that some retailers will sign up for the money and do nothing for it. Well Mr Retailer, that’s wrong because you are taking away the integrity of Sweetbreak if we let you get away with it, so we will expel you.”
He called on all wholesalers to expel such members and warned: “For those wholesalers or groups who tolerate the retailer who won’t follow the rules be careful. The suppliers are monitoring what goes on and coming to a buying office near you could be a shock.”