Sales up thanks to Costco forum

Following a dedicated Take Home Blueprint forum at Costco’s Oldham depot, the Village Stores at Helmshore, in Rossendale, has undergone a complete alcohol relay with help from the Blueprint team.

The Costco forum was a chance for Blueprint scheme director Ross Shelley and operations manager Paul Adshead to meet retailers in the depot who were interested in the FWD Take Home Blueprint scheme and the benefits of adopting its principles.

Ann Rutter and Steven Lee, owners of the Village Stores, a 1,200sq ft community store, were convinced that the Blueprint was just what their store needed.

They report their alcohol sales have seen a dramatic improvement. Ross explains: “When we got to the store, it was clear that Ann and Steven had a good range of alcohol but it needed arranging in a more logical order.

“Also its wines, beers and spirits were located in different areas of the shop so our first recommendation was to move the beer fixture to the same area as the wines to create a dedicated off licence section.

“This was also important as it moved the beers away from the sweets and soft drinks. It’s bad practice to site alcohol near products which children buy.”

Over a few visits, Paul and Ross have remerchandised all categories in the off licence section and have introduced a dedicated ARTD chiller as well.

On the wines fixture, all old and slow stock has been removed and placed in bargain bins to shift. Recommended lines that previously weren’t on the shelves have been quickly introduced. In just a few weeks, Ann and Steven have seen a dramatic difference to their business.

Ann explains: “The Blueprint team has been such a great help. Now when we visit Costco we have a better understanding as to what sells well and what to buy.

“We aren’t wasting money on stock that isn’t going to sell – in fact we are spending the same money on a wider range of brands that we know our customers are going to buy.

“The actual presentation of the fixture is very attractive. It has encouraged us to keep it tidy as well as we know all the hard work that the Blueprint team have put into it.

“The customers have responded well and like the fact that there is now a dedicated off licence section and know instantly where to look to find a specific type of wine, for example.”

Ann adds: “Having no experience with the Blueprint team before, it is definitely something I would recommend to other retailers. They work closely with you on every step so you know exactly what’s going on and why. The fact that it’s free is just the icing on top of the cake.”

In the coming weeks, the Blueprint team will be staging similar forums at the rest of the Costco depots nationwide.

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