Blueprint boosts sales

Like many independent retailers, Ranjid Johal did not have the time or resources to look at what stock he had to offer in his off-licence section or how best to merchandise it. As a result he was in desperate need of organising across all areas from beers and cider to wines, spirits and alcoholic ready to drinks. However, Take Home Blueprint regional specialist Joe Mitchell was on hand to do this for him at his 2,200sq ft Nisa Supermarket at High Green in Sheffield.

“It’s a big store and I didn’t have the time to spend looking at the alcohol fixtures and make sure things were placed in the right way. Basically when stock came in we would put it where there was space on the shelf,” explains Ranjid. “Joe came to see me and explained about the Blueprint initiative and it was exactly the kind of support my store needed.”

The off-licence section has been given a complete Blueprint makeover, with each category (ales, lagers and ciders, wines and fortified wines, spirits and ARTDs) being merchandised as per the industry best advice on the planograms. Joe advised Ranjid on several key must-stock brands that were missing from his fixtures and how many facings of each brand he should have.
Joe says: “When I first went into the store, it was a typical sight. There was no logic to the way things were placed on the shelf. For example, red and white wines were mixed up together, not enough facings were being allocated to some brands so they were being lost on the shelf, and generally it was difficult to find what you were looking for.

“By using the Blueprints, it’s much simpler for Ranjid’s customers to see exactly what’s on offer and he’s making the best use of his space available, especially the ambient dairy deck. Chilled alcohol is something we definitely encourage and his dairy deck is great for merchandising all his beer, ARTDs and a selection of white wines. This alone has helped increase his sales.”

In just a couple of weeks, Ranjid reported an instant increase in off-licence sales of 10%, which has risen over two months to 25%, with a particular boost in sales of wine and premium lager.
Ranjid comments: “The Blueprint has been a godsend for us. Purchases in each category have steadily increased since Joe visited us and it’s had a knock-on effect to the rest of the store. It not only looks better but it helps us when it comes to managing the stock. We know where each product should go and when we need to re-order. It’s also helped us cut out a lot of brands that don’t sell well and aren’t recommended on the planograms.

“Joe and the Blueprint did all the hard work and now it’s just up to us to maintain the fixtures, which has helped us save so much time and effort. It’s a shame there aren’t more industry initiatives that support the independent sector in this way – offering genuine resources that achieve such good results.”

The Take Home Blueprint initiative was launched by the Federation of Wholesale Distributors in 1994. The activity now embraces beers, lagers and ciders, wines, spirits and fortified wines and alcoholic ready to drinks (ARTDs).

The educational scheme guides independent retailers into best practice in product selection and display. Planograms give adequate allocation of space for retailer own choice, local favourites and wholesaler own brands.

The Take Home Blueprints received the Off Licence News Best Merchandising Scheme Award in 2003 and regular published case studies prove their effectiveness. The Blueprint gives retailers who implement it a copper-bottomed assurance that their sales will increase – it is the only makeover in the grocery marketplace giving this guarantee.


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