SKS Supermarket’s Nisa-Today’s store in Newcastle is one of the largest retail outlets in the area, serving a large community, and its owner, Kaleem Mazhar, prides himself on his dedicated off-licence area with its large selection of premium bottled ales.
Kaleem recognises the value of his bottled ale policy in that it brings lots of customers into his shop looking for something different, but he emphasises the fact that it is the big advertised brands that form the basis of his business.
So, when Blueprint operations manager Paul Adshead explained the benefits of the Take Home Blueprint merchandising concept to him, Kaleem was particularly keen to try it out in his store.
The Blueprint was then implemented by the regional merchandisers for the North East, mother and daughter strike force Annesa and Shekilla Thomson, who among other things recommended increased stocking of multipacks and cases, along with a larger range of wines in the chiller section.
Now, just a few short months on, the results have been remarkable by any standards. One of the most noticeable differences has been in the canned beer category.
Since Blueprint merchandising principles have been adopted, there has been a huge sales increase. For instance, sales of Fosters have more than doubled from 600 cans to over 1,400 cans a week.
The biggest improvement of all, though, has been cider. Strongbow, which used to account for 6-8 cases a week, has now soared to 15-16 cases. Overall sales have increased in store by over 40%.
This pattern has been repeated in other sectors too, with spirits enjoying a healthy sales boost, since they were moved to a more prominent in-store position and the large range of wines in the chiller opening up a lucrative new sales opportunity.
The last word, though, must go to store manager Vaqas Saleem, who had this to say about the introduction of Blueprint: “I have been impressed with the professionalism and knowledge of the Blueprint staff and would not hesitate in recommending a Blueprint makeover to anyone in this sector – in fact I have recommended it already to many of my friends in the trade.”
A testimony to the power of the Blueprint.