Providing the finishing touch

The Take Home Blueprint can boast of improving sales across any store’s licensed section, even the most successful. This was certainly the case with the Hirani’s Nisa Local in Bolton, Greater Manchester.

The store had a large, well-stocked and well presented alcohol section and sales were steady. However, the Blueprint team were confident that, with their treatment, the store could gain an extra competitive edge and increase sales further.

The entire section was remerchandised to the Blueprint principles, including a large open chiller and the ambient fixtures. The end result looked impressive and the actual sales figures even more so, as wines enjoyed a 22% increase, spirits rose by 11% and both the beer and ARTDs categories saw a 6% boost.

Paul Adshead, operations manager of the Take Home Blueprint, explained: “Many independent retailers don’t approach us for help, as they think the service is purely for retailers who are struggling and need guidance. However, the Blueprint can help any independent retailer who simply wants to get more out of their alcohol sales.

“The Hirani’s had no specific problems or issues with their off licence section. It was well-stocked, had a good range of brands and was well presented. They just needed some guidance with the layout and some suggestions on new brands to add to their range to give them a more complete offering. We also ensured that they were making the most of their chiller. This is an area that independents need to get right as it is an important point of difference against the competition, and something that the multiples cannot offer.”

The biggest gains have been in the wine category which has now been separated into red and white and then merchandised by country. This has allowed customers to browse the fixtures more freely and logically, and find what they are looking for with ease.

Dhanji Hirani explained: “Wine sales have shot up, especially, rosé, since they’ve been arranged in their own categories. I’ve also learned quite a bit about the countries, the grape varieties and the colours, all of which I can now pass on to my customers and advise them on their purchases.

“The better layout in my chiller has also helped to increase my sparkling wine sales, which were quite slow previously. As for the beers and ciders section, it looks much better and this is reflected in the sales. For instance, the large cider PET bottles have been moved from the top to the bottom shelf where they look better and are more easily reached. My bottled beer packs have also increased on that section.”

Dhanu Hirani was similarly impressed. She explained: “We’ve always had a large, well-stocked alcohol section, but now we have a professional layout, which many retailers find difficult to achieve and maintain.

“People underestimate how much difference a well-stocked and presentable layout can make. A perfect example of this is our spirits range. It’s so much easier for myself and my staff to find a particular spirit, so it’s obviously easier for the customer too, now that the spirits are on show to them. We’re really happy with the results of our Blueprint makeover. So much so that I’ve advised my parents and brothers to have their shops remerchandised too.”

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