Blueprint reports back

The FWD Take Home Blueprint is unlike any other similar scheme in the food and drink marketplace. Its basic unique aspect is its unconditional guarantee of increased sales for those retailers who implement it.

But, unlike conventional merchandising services supplied by third party companies employing people who simply call on stores to make a quick check of displays – sometimes of three or four brands on the same call – the Blueprint is an active interface.

This action consists of trained dedicated merchandisers – dealing only with the Blueprint and not a number of brands – advising the retailer and actually helping them to re-lay their shelving with the right products in the right place.

A makeover can go on for 24 hours – in contrast to the third party call which might take 10 minutes. The summary of field activity takes up one page of The Blueprint Report – updating the number of completed calls in the field against agreed annual targets with relevant progress reported in actual and percentage terms.

NO QUICK IN-AND-OUT

For example in the Blueprint for Wine, the relevant reporting phase ending on July 31 provides information on a target of 200 completed calls which was exceeded – giving a 111% achievement figure which is now published in the Report.

This reporting system demonstrates how Blueprint advisors spend a day or more physically helping the retailer and his staff to re-lay the shelves and to understand the importance of stocking brands which the consumer wants.

When executives chat about other merchandising schemes which are used by big brands, it soon becomes clear that comparing the Blueprint with quick in-and-out calls is not possible.

There are countless examples where the retailer, after a makeover, regards the Blueprint team members as friends and not as representatives of one particular brand -which is exactly what should happen.

BATLEYS HELPING RETAILERS

The information extracted from the field work helps the scheme to achieve its continuity and credibility – it was launched in 1994.

“Practical Training For Batleys” is the headline on another page in the report which describes how the cash and carry company is working with the Blueprint team to help retailers increase their alcohol sales.

Sue McDonald, retail development manager for Batleys, nominated a Bradford retailer for a Blueprint makeover. An enthusiast, Sue helped the local scheme specialists Joe and Alison Mitchell to re-lay the store owned by Jack Brady. Sales have increased by 10% in the short time since the makeover.

Another page reports how the PLOD exercise – Putting Leaders On Display – is progressing.

PLOD BOOSTS SPIRITS BY 37%

This scheme removes 70cl spirits from the glass fronted “coffin” behind the counter and places them on open shelves near the till. Security caps are fitted to the bottles which are removed on being purchased.

Trials have demonstrated that increases in spirits sales of 29% can be achieved by the PLOD method which has been developed by the Blueprint.

Henlys Convenience Store, in Cwmbran, Gwent, was the venue of one PLOD trial where spirits sales increased by 37%.

Can a sector which is under pressure from the giant multiples resist these numbers?

CHAMPAGNE AT BEST ONE

When Bestway’s Raj Piri contacted the Blueprint it was agreed that the scheme could be implemented in several Best One stores.

One of these stores, in Deptford, London, was a new store in an area which, like many in London, is becoming “upwardly mobile” and fashionable.

Raj says that the work put in by the team produced “fantastic” figures. For example, over the first couple of days the shop ran out of champagne.

Bestway and the Blueprint are now working together on a number of new store developments in keeping with the company’s mission of helping its customers to succeed.

l Contact: For more on the FWD Take Home Blueprint telephone 0161 440 2770.

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