Father and son business Hillfield News Off Licence, in Coventry, used their joining of Nisa Todays as the catalyst to revamp their 3,000 sq ft store and overhaul their wines and spirits section, with help from the Take Home Blueprint. The result: the wines and spirits categories are both showing sales increases of 20%.
Before taking the giant leap of a complete re-fit, Satty and his father Amrith Sandhu were looking at the layout of their store and were introduced to the Take Home Blueprint scheme. Within eight days, Penny Gildroy, Blueprint specialist for their region, was in contact with the store and had begun to give their wines and spirits section a makeover.
Penny explains: “When I first visited the store I was suprised at the range of stock they had. Their spirits section is large and well-stocked – it was just in need of some order. There was a large selection of wines too, but, similarly to many retailers, the Sandhu’s were missing a lot of the top selling brands across red, white and rose and again were not really merchandised in any logical order.”
Under Penny’s guidance the wines were split into red and white and then categorised by country. Satty purchased all missing key brands overnight on Penny’s recommendations. Spirits were also re-merchandised as per the Blueprint with Penny again making recommendations of must-stock brands missing from the large selection available.
In just eight weeks, the change in-store has been incredible with sales up 20% across both categories. With the re-fit due for completion soon, the owners are looking to re-launch confident with their stock and that sales will continue to soar.
Satty explains: “Before Penny came along we didn’t really have much order to our stock. For example with wines, we would try and split it red and white but once new stock came in we would just put it on the shelf where there was a gap. It meant it was very difficult for our customers to find a particular wine and we wouldn’t be able to see when we had run out of stock either.”
He adds: “The Blueprint makes everything much clearer and simpler for the customer. If they want a French white, they just go to the country flag marked on the shelf edge and it is easy to see all the wines in one place. Similarly with the spirits, customers can browse all the different types of spirits we sell much more easily now.”
The store has a large Londis directly opposite to compete with and is only a few minutes from the city centre, but has found it has already established a good reputation of selling a wide range of alcohol which is drawing in customers from further afield than just the local area.
Satty says: “As we’ve spent a bit of time and effort improving this section, custom has picked up dramatically. We are now recording sales increases in Bacardi, Jack Daniels, Jim Bean, Black Label, Irish Meadow and Smirnoff vodka which I believe is all down to the way its merchandised and presented to the customers.
“As per the Blueprint recommendations, our white wine and blush lines are also in an open chiller and the good movers are the brands we weren’t previously stocking. Jacob’s Creek Rose, all ranges of E J Gallo and Paul Masson. Piat D’or and Black Tower are also rising in popularity too because they can now be clearly seen and not hidden away as before. In fact, we’ve had to double the facings of many of the brands that Penny recommended we get in as they are doing so well.
“We have a large range of speciality Afro-Caribbean spirits which are very popular with the locals. The beauty of the Blueprint is that it’s not a straight-jacket and can be adapted to fit my local customer base. We can work with it to bring our customers what we know they like and also the top-selling brands in the industry, which as we’ve seen is helping make our off licence a big success.”