Blueprint to the rescue for Formby Wines and Spirits

Bilal Karacomak, the joint owner of Formby Wines and Spirits, was thrown in at the deep end when his partner who ran the store left. With no experience in retail, Bilal was struggling until he came across the Take Home Blueprint.

As a result, Bilal’s beer category is now up 15% and cider sales have also seen a 10% increase.

Bilal explained: “I was the sleeping partner, so until my partner left the business I had no day to day dealings with the running of the store. I had no experience or knowledge of the licenced trade and therefore found running the shop, and especially the off licence section, a challenge.

“I found the Take Home Blueprint website and it appeared to have all the answers to my problems, so I got in touch with the team who came down to give me some advice and help re-merchandise the fixtures.”

Operations manager Paul Adshead oversaw the re-merchandising and, on arrival, was impressed with the potential of the store.

He said: “Bilal had allocated a large area to his off licence, and had an extensive range across all categories. On the whole he was stocking the key brands in each category, but it was his display that was letting him down.

“In particular his beers and ciders were mixed in together with no logical order to the way they were merchandised. It was obvious that any customers shopping the fixture would struggle to find what they were looking for and not really be able to take in the entire offering.”

Following a complete re-merchandise of the off licence, Bilal is now realising the true potential of this category. By blocking the beers and ciders separately, customers are now able to see the entire range and as well as easily locating their favourite tipple, are sampling other brands too. This had led to a 15% sales increase in the beer section, with Carlsberg and Heineken enjoying a surge in popularity.

Cider is also receiving a boost in sales, thanks to the Blueprint. The category is up 10%, with Strongbow doing particularly well.

Bilal said: “Not only do my customers now find it a lot easier to locate their desired product on the fixture, but my staff find it easier to monitor the stock as every brand and product has its place on the shelf. My staff can now assess stock levels at a glance.

“Finding the Blueprint has been godsend to us. I had no idea that there were services out there that could help improve my sales at no cost to me and with no hidden agenda. It has improved my sales and the overall appearance of my store. I would recommend the Blueprint to any independent retailer who is serious about improving their store and their sales figures.”

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