== Guiding customers around competition ==
Booker is helping its customers “steer round the multiples”, according to commercial director Bryan Drew.
He said Booker was providing a range of different products that meant its retailers did not have to go toe to toe with the multiples. He gave examples such as premium beers rather than mainstream beers, and added: “On spirits it’s about offering suitable alternatives while the multiples are trashing the key brands.”
Different packs could also provide a vital point of difference, he added, such as enabling retailers to offer a one pint can for £1. “That’s quite a good value message with the consumer comparing the price of a pint in a pub against a pint for a pound, rather than us getting sucked into two for £16 or three for £20 multiple deals.”
One of Booker’s other aims this year, he said, was “landing the price message”. He said Booker had done a lot of work on prices but the message had still not got through to many customers. Weekly price checks showed Booker prices were 3% less than other cash and carries, he said, and up to 50% less than some delivered wholesalers.
Other price-related activities included locking down prices on its Essentials range until September and its roll back activity.
Availability is another priority for Booker, but Drew said that even with 98.7% availability an him! survey had still found that 27% of customers failed to buy a product they had planned to buy. He said this meant it was not just availability but also visibility that was crucial.