Ian Taylor’s experience in retailing is immense, but even so he was keen to drive an increase in sales by using the best practice advice offered by the FWD Take Home Blueprint for his Key Store, in Portgordon, North East Scotland.
Ian’s store is immaculately presented and his staff are professional and friendly as the Blueprint team discovered on their visit – following the nomination of the store by award-winning wholesaler JW Filshill.
The result? Ian’s sales in the category have seen an uplift of 19%. What’s more, this was achieved with a reduced, more focused range, which required less stock-holding and therefore reduced costs. It is a classic case of less is more. Wholesalers can reduce their stock costs at this critical period of ‘credit crunch’, plus intense multiple competition, and their retailers can do the same – as Ian has demonstrated.
Ian said: “I’m totally sold on the concept. For a start, the alcohol section is now easier to maintain. Ordering is a simpler business and I can keep my stock holdings to a bare minimum.
“For instance, we’ve actually reduced our beer levels, while achieving a higher turnover. It’s all a case of positioning. I would never have dreamt of placing bottled multipacks on the top shelf, but they are now selling more than ever before. In fact they even make up the majority of my beer sales.”
Ian has found that his wine sales have improved since the Blueprint blocked the wines in colour and country of origin. The Blueprint Wine Wheel also helps his staff to be more confident in making recommendations.
ARTDs have received a boost. Prior to the Blueprint, sales were so slow that Ian placed them on the top shelf. Now they are merchandised better, and Ian has introduced variations in sizes and multi-packs sales are on the up-turn, especially the Smirnoff range.
Ian said: “Overall sales have improved by 19% – my EPOS cannot lie. I have just returned from a wine tasting trip in the South of France with my wholesaler – something I would not have done pre-Blueprint because of my lack of knowledge.
“I would recommended the Blueprint to all independent retailers who, like me, did not have a proven planogram in place. The results speak for themselves. Even with 40 years in the business I am still learning.”
Ian was so impressed that he was keen to continue his success with the Blueprint wine tasting plan. The majority of customers purchased at least two bottles as a result. While the event was planned to thank his customers for their loyalty over the years, Ian saw his sales increase by a further 14% compared to a normal Wednesday evening trade.