Ultimate 30-hour Blueprint makeover

The FWD Take Home Blueprint is a uniquely successful industry benchmarking activity and the only one available to the wholesale/independent sector. But it is more than a series of planograms – it befriends retailers and can provide a thorough makeover. When the Giddings family and their wholesaler Turner Wright, working together with the Take Home Blueprint, sought the best solution for a newly acquired Features > Business, the answer turned out to be a big Blueprint makeover – free of charge.

The Giddings had no previous retailing experience but the teamwork demonstrated by Turner Wright and the Blueprint put their new business on the right path and they sold more than £1,000 of product on their first two opening nights.

The opening was a great success. It revealed just how the Blueprint and the wholesaler, in tandem, can quickly put a retail business on the map, rapidly giving local people a destination off licence stocking the right products on the right shelves.

The Blueprint team were confident they could help – confidence based on thousands of similar re-lays which have helped businesses new and old to establish themselves quickly with the local community.

Maccas Booze, in Fleetwood, Lancashire, was the store to be given the ultimate Take Home Blueprint, re-lay taking over 30 man-hours to ensure the off licence was given the best possible start at its grand opening with the right range, presented correctly.

Blueprint scheme director Ross Shelley, along with national field manager Paul Adshead and regional specialist Joe Mitchell, were enlisted to help by wholesaler Turner Wright. The new owner Susan Gidding, and her son Anthony, the store manager of Maccas Booze, had no previous experience in retailing.

John Shaw, sales manager, at Turner Wright was aware that the Take Home Blueprint industry best advice was exactly what Maccas needed to ensure the store opening succeeded. Shelley says: “John Shaw has worked with the Blueprint before and is aware of the invaluable and impartial advice that is given to retailers, especially for those with little or no experience of the industry. With so many brands now available across all categories, John trusts us to work with and educate the retailer in selecting the right core range of products that work well in harmony with wholesale exclusive products.”

He adds: “When we got to Maccas Booze, we realised a lot of hard work and effort had already gone in to gut the shop and revitalise the inside, but it is no point having a great looking store if the range on offer is wrong or presented poorly. That’s why between the three Blueprint Team members it took 30 hours to ensure the merchandising was spot on, and that the owner understood the principles behind the scheme so that he and his staff could maintain the fixtures.”

The entire shop was planned and merchandised according to the Blueprint guidelines across all categories from wines, fortified wines, spirits, ales, lagers, ciders and alcoholic RTDs. A must for independent stores is to stock chilled products and this was given prominence in the store as well.

Shelley adds: “It is nice to work with a store from scratch and have the right core range in from day one. Although it’s a lot of effort it is certainly worth seeing the results and hearing of the success that Maccas has recorded since opening. The first two nights saw over £1,000 of alcohol sold – so it’s obviously given him the starting success needed to build a reputation as a quality off licence.”

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