Category management is a vitally important tool which more and more wholesalers are embracing as a way to help their customers maximise their profits and in this section we highlight leading products which should feature prominently in every progressive retailer’s store and in the wholesalers who supply them.
Wrigley’s name is synonymous with chewing gum, and this category has long been a high profit earner for wholesalers and retailers. With the category showing strong growth it is important that wholesalers display the right range and ensure availability so their customers are able to buy the optimum range for their stores.
Yazoo has been investing heavily in promotions for its flavoured milk drink and has been rewarded with strong growth. With its healthy credentials it chimes with consumers concerns, particularly when it comes to buying nourishing drinks for their children.
In the wider market wholesalers are working hard with their supplier partners to develop a category merchandising approach for their customers. One of the biggest such schemes is the Hot House programme developed by Landmark Wholesale. It was set up in mid 2004 with support from 16 suppliers with the aim of providing unbiased category advice to retailers who shop at Landmark Wholesale members.
The project taps into the category expertise of suppliers to come up with planograms which can be implemented in an overall makeover of retailers’ stores. Four years on Hot House has won a number of awards, it now has 48 suppliers signed up to provide long-term support, and it has produced average uplifts in sales of 29% for the 1,350 stores which have taken part so far.
Another major wholesaler which has come up with a scheme to support independent retailers is Palmer and Harvey. Earlier this year it launched Partnership Plus, which was set up after surveys of its customers found they were looking for advice on ranging and merchandising.
Working with category leaders it has drawn up core ranges for its customers and even come up with tailored advice for its main customers types, forecourts, c-stores and CTNs, and also taking into account regional variations between England Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The biggest of all the category management schemes in the wholesale channel is the FWD’s Take Home Blueprint, which has been drawn up with backing from FWD members and the main players in the BWS sector. Covering all the alcohol categories, it has a proven record of success and offers a guarantee to retailers that it will increase their sales.