Manager of the month

The Nestl eacute; Rowntree Manager of the Month for March is awarded to Spencer Gathercole, assistant manager of Martins Cash Carry in Launceston in Cornwall.

A member of the Today’s Buying Group, Martins Cash Carry is a family business run by managing director Bob Martin. Alongside the depot they also run a fleet of 10 vehicles delivering to Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and the fringes of Bristol.

Gathercole has been recognised as Manager of the Month for March for his efforts to maximise sales of spring confectionery. He has worked for Martins Cash Carry for 27 years, rising through the ranks to become a manager 10 years ago.

Spring is the second most important time of the year for confectionery (behind Christmas) and should be a key area of focus for retailers. Gathercole understands, therefore, the importance of making the right range available to his customers and ensuring it is highly visible so they do not miss it.

Sixty four per cent of independent retailers’ spring sales come from filled and mini eggs, and retailers will maximise sales by stocking a range for both children and adults, and which tap into relevant major consumer trends.

The Smarties and Milkybar Shaker filled eggs, for example, make ideal treats for children. In recent years both of these big brands have made changes to become more permissible confectionery options, with Smarties now containing no artificial colours or flavours, and Milkybar now made with all natural ingredients.

Gathercole has worked closely with Nestl eacute; Rowntree sales development executive Donna Ord to create a spring confectionery display in the prime location in depot – opposite the tills. The five pallet display was created from day one of stock availability, because with Easter Sunday falling early this year retailers have less time to maximise their Easter sales so must stock up as early as possible. Posters, pallet wraps and hoodboxes were used to ensure the display had the best impact.

With early sales looking very positive, Gathercole and Ord are already working on the next initiative – Nestl eacute; Rowntree’s biggest new product launch of 2008 – KitKat Senses.

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