FWD Chairman’s Comment

Do the retailers you supply participate in promotions? Are they cashing in on seasonal trends? Do they re-merchandise to take advantage of the weather or special occasions? In a nutshell, do they use your category intelligence and brand knowledge?

Because you could do more to help your retail partners do business better.

As the evenings get longer and gondola ends swap flu medicines for suncream, there is no better time to encourage retailers to take a good look at their stores and consider whether it is operating at its highest level. What is and isn’t making money?

Wholesalers are uniquely positioned to help retailers answer these questions and do something about the answers.

To cite one example, wholesalers know that chilled and fresh are the fastest growing categories in convenience, three-times the size of soft drinks and confectionery combined.

We need to ensure our customers know this too, and ensure they act on that knowledge by stocking and merchandising appropriately.

Wholesalers observe seasonal trends and know when retailers need to re-merchandise to maximise sales. As early as May, ice cream needs to be moved forward in the store, BBQ equipment needs to come out of hibernation and cider needs to take a more prominent place on the alcohol shelf. Re-merchandising a store can increase sales by 15%

These are all things that retailers can forget. A quick call or a visit from their wholesaler can be the catalyst they need to be more profitable, and consequently, to buy more from us.

Are your retailers running promotions and stocking best-sellers? Often retailers can get stuck in their ways and give products a place on the shelf they don’t deserve. I’d argue that it is part of the wholesalers’ job to encourage retailers to embrace emerging best-sellers and lose products that aren’t profitable.

A great way of doing this is by running promotions or category-themed festivals. A well-timed festival backed up with POS material and planograms can introduce reluctant retailers to new categories or products and prove their saleability with hard cash in the till.

Wholesalers offer an invaluable service they can help retailers cut through the manufacturers’ spiel and get to the crux of the matter: exactly what actions will make them, and as a result you, more money. It begins with that first step of asking your retail partners those vital questions.

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