Taste of success with the Blueprint

Whitstone Stores in Devon has experienced a dramatic boost to its off licence sales following an FWD Take Home Blueprint makeover. This included a Blueprint wine tasting event, which saw 30 cases of wine sold in the one evening.

Owner, Thomas Cock has not looked back since asking the Blueprint for some help with his alcohol section. The 1,000sq ft shop has had a complete makeover of all categories, including installing the Project PLOD security caps on his spirits and moving them to self-select in the store.

He said: “Calling the Blueprint team was one of the best phone calls I have ever made. The Take Home Blueprint has opened our eyes to the power of merchandising in the off licence section of our store, by improving our display and supporting a very successful tasting event.

“The merchandising team have done a fantastic job with the presentation of our alcohol, making the best of display area and stock. The positive response we have had from our customers and the following uplift in sales has given us the encouragement to develop further activity with the Blueprint, for example installing the security caps system on our spirits.

“We have taken on board the need to group products logically, position key lines, offer a good choice of chilled stock and keep the shelves looking as full and as well-presented as possible. Making this extra effort has certainly paid off for us.”

Since enlisting the help from the Blueprint, Thomas has seen his wine sales increase by 20%. Due to the fact that the Blueprint take into account local choice, it had allowed Thomas to promote an own brand range and sales of this has risen 200%, selling an extra four cases a week.

Real ales have increased by 15% and ciders, now they are blocked separately from the ales and lagers, are up 12% despite the poor weather, which usually has a negative effect on the category.

The wine sales have especially benefited from a Blueprint wine tasting event that was held in-store to promote the newly re-merchandised off licence section and give a boost to a few of the slow-selling lines. As a result Thomas has seen brands, which he was only selling two bottles a week of, now selling two or more cases a week.

Thomas added: “The wine tasting evening was a huge success, and has helped us develop a strong regular trade. We had a fantastic time, and it has helped us create customer loyalty. As a result I am now extending my shop so that we can increase space for my off licence section.

“This really is the most important area of our store and Blueprint has helped us get the most from the off licence section. As a small independent retailer we appreciate the support given to us in this key sales area and all for free.”

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