Paul Cowens took over Paper Shop Plus, in Blackpool, from his father at the start of the year, and significantly invested in the store to refurbish all the fixtures and fittings. Once that work was completed, through his wholesaler Turner Wright he decided to get help from the FWD Take Home Blueprint team on the range and layout of his off licence section.
Blueprint operations manager Paul Adshead supervised the project, along with regional specialist Joe Mitchell and the Turner Wright sales manager John Shaw.
Paul Adshead says: “When we first arrived at the store, it was obvious that Paul had invested a lot of time and effort in improving the store and was extremely keen to learn about the Blueprint principles and how they could help him maximise his alcohol sales.
“It was a great store for the Blueprint to work with, as we were basically starting from scratch with empty shelves and full stock waiting to be merchandised.”
Paul and Joe began merchandising the ales, lagers and ciders. The team felt there were too many brands, but suggested that owner Paul monitored how they sold and cut back in alignment to the Blueprint if he was struggling to sell them.
The wines, spirits and ARTDs sections followed. Again the team pointed out where they felt Paul had too much of some slow sellers and which brands he should stock more of.
Eight weeks later, Paul Adshead returned to Paper Shop Plus to see how the opening weeks had gone. He explains: “When we returned to the shop, I was extremely pleased to see how well-presented it still was and how the Blueprint had been maintained to a very high standard with everything merchandised exactly as Joe and I had left it.
“It was clear that Paul and his sales assistant Julie had spent a lot of time maintaining the fixtures as all the shelves and chillers were fully stocked with no gaps, and merchandised correctly. Visually the impact of a well-presented and well-stocked fixture is very impressive, and Paul told me that it has clearly had the right effect on his customers, with sales increasing week-on-week by over pound;1,000.”
As a result of implementing the Blueprint, owner Paul can manage his stock knowing exactly what needs to be ordered and what he has plenty of; so he does not have a problem with excess stock, important as space in the shop is at a premium.
He has experienced particular success with his ARTD sales. The sales history from when his dad owned the shop told him that this category wasn’t performing. However, by using the Blueprint, Paul now has the right selection of brands and choice for his customers.
l To nominate retailers to take part in the Blueprint wholesalers should telephone 0161 440 2770.