Spar wholesaler shares 2010 strategy

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Spar wholesaler, AF Blakemore (AFB), and the retailers it supplies are gearing up for 2010 following a series of road shows.

More than 125 retailers attended four regional events to discuss current industry forecasts and AFB’s plans to help retailers drive sales and profit in 2010.

Dennis Evans, managing director for Spar Distribution, revealed 1,600 ‘Pounds Down’ promotional stands had been issued to participating stores since the road shows of 2008 and 12 million leaflets are now annually distributed to the 453 Blakemore Spar stores taking part in the initiative.

According to Evans, like-for-like sales in these stores are up 6.5%, and sales in stores taking part in other AFB schemes are performing well.

“Promotions have been strong,” he said, “but stores still need to improve their margin. Improvements have also been made on short-life ranges, NPD and availability.

“Retailers need to improve a few key areas of their business, the right ranges are key and planograms need to be used to maximise range and profit; stores should also invest in chilled, produce, meat, food-to-go and bake-off bread – all good profit categories,” he said.

“Many of our convenience retailers need to move their businesses away from what are basically CTN or emergency purchase models to a fresh food store where consumers can buy tonight’s tea and do a good top-up shop. Industry statistics show sales on magazines, tobacco, crisps, snacks and confectionery are in decline – now is the time to make a step change in our offer.

“The market is tough but it is going to get tougher. The good news is that trends for shopping locally are improving and Spar stores are moving in the right direction. You can trust that Spar and AFB will continue to be ahead of the game.”

Mike Boardman, recently appointed trading director, reiterated this point and said he is strengthening his fresh food trading team.

“We are going to look at the way we deal with our suppliers and aim to get to number one on their agenda. We are building better relationships with them through planning to get the best deals and offers for Spar.”

Boardman presented the work being done on category reviews and planograms and how this involves looking specifically at range, space allocation and price within the marketplace.

Strategies are in place for each category in the business using market intelligence to either drive emerging categories or reduce the emphasis on declining parts of the business such as DVDs, he said.

Boardman said the business is also focusing on value messaging.

“Value is not just about price but it also about a range that allows us to keep competitive. We are producing value and premium planograms based on customer demographics. Each category will be reviewed across the year so we can offer our retailers a good spread of brands and own label. This is a great opportunity for retailers to earn extra profit.”

Barry Davies, managing director of Blakemore Logistics, previewed plans for expansion of wholesale warehouse capacity in chilled and fresh to meet the demand of a more fresh food-based model. He also focused retailers’ attention on recycling and the ways Blakemore will help them to minimise their impact on landfill usage.

Ged Carter, marketing director, listed the ingredients of a sustainable convenience store.

“Fresh food, a credible own label range, promotions and seasonal campaigns are a recipe for future success,” he said.

AFB is relaunching its Spar fresh range and aiming to double fresh meat sales participation. Carter said this is the key to the tonight’s tea shopping mission and central to a sustainable convenience business.

“We are also reviewing our retail price bands and are moving to a more balanced pricing structure with the process being piloted in December in our Eurospar stores.

“Our offer for the sustainable store for the future can apply to a 1,000sq ft store as well as a 3,000sq ft store. If stores focus on food-to-go, top-up food, fresh and chilled and squeeze the impulse and ambient areas they will grow sales and increase their margin percentage,” he said.

Rob Davis, regional sales manager, concluded the programme with details of the company’s Fit for the Future health check programme.

This new initiative invites retailers to partner Blakemore in a review of their store and their business.

Spar UK wholesaler AF Blakemore plans ahead

Spar wholesaler, AF Blakemore (AFB), and the retailers it supplies are gearing up for 2010 following a series of road shows.

More than 125 retailers attended four regional events to discuss current industry forecasts and AFB’s plans to help retailers drive sales and profit in 2010.

Dennis Evans, managing director for Spar Distribution, revealed 1,600 ‘Pounds Down’ promotional stands had been issued to participating stores since the road shows of 2008 and 12 million leaflets are now annually distributed to the 453 Blakemore Spar stores taking part in the initiative.

According to Evans, like-for-like sales in these stores are up 6.5%, and sales in stores taking part in other AFB schemes are performing well.

Promotions have been strong, he said, but stores still need to improve their margin. Improvements have also been made on short-life ranges, NPD and availability.

“Retailers need to improve a few key areas of their business, the right ranges are key and planograms need to be used to maximise range and profit; stores should also invest in chilled, produce, meat, food-to-go and bake-off bread – all good profit categories,” he said.

“Many of our convenience retailers need to move their businesses away from what are basically CTN or emergency purchase models to a fresh food store where consumers can buy tonight’s tea and do a good top-up shop. Industry statistics show sales on magazines, tobacco, crisps, snacks and confectionery are in decline – now is the time to make a step change in our offer.

“The market is tough but it is going to get tougher. The good news is that trends for shopping locally are improving and Spar stores are moving in the right direction. You can trust that Spar and AFB will continue to be ahead of the game.”

Mike Boardman, recently appointed trading director, reiterated this point and said he is strengthening his fresh food trading team.

“We are going to look at the way we deal with our suppliers and aim to get to number one on their agenda. We are building better relationships with them through planning to get the best deals and offers for Spar.”

Boardman presented the work being done on category reviews and planograms and how this involves looking specifically at range, space allocation and price within the marketplace.

Strategies are in place for each category in the business using market intelligence to either drive emerging categories or reduce the emphasis on declining parts of the business such as DVDs, he said.

Boardman said the business is also focusing on value messaging.

“Value is not just about price but it also about a range that allows us to keep competitive. We are producing value and premium planograms based on customer demographics. Each category will be reviewed across the year so we can offer our retailers a good spread of brands and own label. This is a great opportunity for retailers to earn extra profit.”

Barry Davies, managing director of Blakemore Logistics, previewed plans for expansion of wholesale warehouse capacity in chilled and fresh to meet the demand of a more fresh food-based model. He also focused retailers’ attention on recycling and the ways Blakemore will help them to minimise their impact on landfill usage.

Ged Carter, marketing director, listed the ingredients of a sustainable convenience store.

“Fresh food, a credible own label range, promotions and seasonal campaigns are a recipe for future success,” he said.

AFB is relaunching its Spar fresh range and aiming to double fresh meat sales participation. Carter said this is the key to the tonight’s tea shopping mission and central to a sustainable convenience business.

“We are also reviewing our retail price bands and are moving to a more balanced pricing structure with the process being piloted in December in our Eurospar stores.

“Our offer for the sustainable store for the future can apply to a 1,000sq ft store as well as a 3,000sq ft store. If stores focus on food-to-go, top-up food, fresh and chilled and squeeze the impulse and ambient areas they will grow sales and increase their margin percentage,” he said.

Rob Davis, regional sales manager, concluded the programme with details of the company’s Fit for the Future health check programme.

This new initiative invites retailers to partner Blakemore in a review of their store and their business.