Regional experts provide advice

When the owner of Quadrant Convenience Store in Stretford, Manchester asked her wholesaler Turner Wright for help and advice on merchandising and ranging of its alcohol section, the first port of call was the Take Home Blueprint team.

John Shaw, sales manager at Turner Wright, received the inquiry from retailer Emma Marsdon who, after two years in Features > Business, decided that the off licence section of her 800sq ft Day Today’s store lacked any clarity across the range and layout. Immediately John contacted scheme director of the Take Home Blueprint, Ross Shelley, who in turn put Emma in touch with Joe Mitchell, Blueprint Regional Specialist for her area.

Sales of leading brands have increased since the Blueprint visit, with Carling making one of the most noticeable improvements. While Emma had the right number of facings allocated for this brand, it wasn’t displayed in a prominent position as per the Blueprint recommendations and therefore wasn’t selling as well. By moving it into the eye-line and buy-line more stock is shifting and Emma has noticed that her stocking shelf is empty and is having to make more frequent trips to her wholesaler.

Also selling well is Gallo’s White Grenache, especially since there is now a core offering of white and blush wines stocked in the chiller. Customers now tend to go straight to the chilled offering rather than the ambient fixture.

“We have our own dedicated team of regional specialists, covering the country. Inquiries come from all sources, be it direct from retailers in response to an article they have seen in the trade press, a referral from another retailer or, as in this case, direct from a wholesaler,” explains Ross.

“Within ten days, Joe had visited Emma’s store and had re-merchandised the wines and beers’ sections to the Blueprint recommendations. He helped Emma rationalise her stock, pointing out which must-stock brands she was missing and which brands she was over-facing and should cut down on. This is the beauty of the scheme in that we can work with wholesalers to educate retailers on a face-to-face basis.”

In just a few weeks, Emma has noticed a significant shift in sales with more products being sold across these areas. Her wine offering was fairly limited, and with help from the Blueprint team and Turner Wrights she wants to expand her range to match the Blueprint recommendations, and will also be adopting the Blueprint for Spirits and Fortified Wines in time to capitalise on the Christmas trade.

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