Manager of the month

The Nestl eacute; Rowntree Manager of the Month Award for May has been presented to Johnathan Ellis, general manager of Booker in Peterborough.

Having started out on the shop floor, Ellis has worked for Booker for 16 years – working his way through the ranks to his current role as the general manager of one of Booker’s largest branches.

Ellis has been nominated for this award as a result of the consistent approach both he and his team have to launching new confectionery products flawlessly.

This has been highlighted by the recent launch of Polo Xtra Strong in his branch. Ellis and his team at Booker took the time to understand the benefits of the new Polo launch, which sees one of the UK’s favourite brands move into the growing area of functional sweets with a product that offers longer lasting breath freshness for consumers.

After understanding the opportunity, he chose to support the launch with two aisle-end displays, giving Polo Xtra Strong excellent visibility and helping ensure no retailer would be able to miss it in the branch. The aisle end also featured a promotion with Polo Original. This activity resulted in Polo Original securing a sales uplift of 40% over the six weeks of the promotion, while Polo Xtra Strong increased sales by 500% from week one to week six.

Throughout 2007, Ellis and his team have also worked closely with Nestl eacute; Rowntree sales development executive Shelley Thomas to support the launches of new connoisseur chocolate brand Heaven and Nestl eacute; Rowntree’s new sharing bags range. As well as supporting new product launches with high visibility displays, they have also utilised their telesales team to maximise sales through pre-selling.

On an ongoing basis, Ellis is keen to keep up-to-date with brands that are benefiting from media support throughout the year. He uses this information to increase stock levels during the times of the media activity to reflect the expected peak in sales and thus also minimising out of stocks for his customers. He also gives the featured brands the best display space, so his retailers can easily see the opportunity and benefit from the peak in sales too.

Outside of work Ellis is a keen runner, but he is currently being kept busy at home with his six-month-old baby son Roan.

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