Steve Fox, Booker’s sales director – retail, focused on three key areas retailers need to concentrate on to cater for their diverse customer base.
He said stores needed to offer consumers choice and this meant getting their range right. He added: “That’s why we have come up with Range Builder, a tool to help our customers understand what people are buying in their stores.”
To illustrate the regional variations it would help retailers to cope with, he gave sales figures for Carling at Booker’s branches in Sheffield and Northampton.
He said: “In Sheffield we sell just short of 500 cases of Carling a week, so when we do layout in Sheffield we need to make sure it gets prominence. In Northampton it sells 27 cases a week. It’s still a great brand but in terms of merchandising stores in Northampton it’s different to Sheffield.”
Prices also needed to be competitive, but sometimes it was necessary “to find ways of going round the mults”, he said, adding that pint promotions worked very well in this respect.
Service was the third area he highlighted, and here he said chilled was a USP for the independent sector.