Academy in Action with Booker Wholesale: Service to the Community 2016

Prudip Naran with Martin Swadling
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The factshouse
  • Name: Prudip Naran
  • Store: Premier Eccles Old Road
  • Location: Salford
  • Size: 1,600 sq ft

Serving your community isn’t just about selling the right products. It also means getting involved and supporting local groups and causes. The IAA’s Gurpreet Samrai joined Booker’s Martin Swadling at Prudip Naran’s Salford store to help him build his community profile

Prudip's challenge:

Prudip wants to support his community but isn’t sure how to make local groups aware he wants to partner with and support them.

IAA advice:

1. Take pictures and videos of local events and share these on social media

Having recently switched to Premier, Prudip and Sanjay are adjusting to running their social media activity. Sanjay posts on their Facebook page, but the store is not on Twitter. Martin sees an opportunity to boost the store’s profile, letting local customers know they want to support the community.

He suggests they set up a Twitter account, as both Twitter and Facebook encourage engagement, and post about how they’ve helped local schools and hospitals, such as the book donation to two local primary schools.

“Social media can also be used to promote your products and price promotions.” says Martin.

“Additionally, you could use it to promote fun competitions and events such as local fetes, showing your support.”

2. Build relationships with and raise money for local charities and good causes

Prudip already offers a Subway NHS deal, which brings in staff from the hospital 100 yards away. “The NHS discount is great,” Martin says. “The hospital is a community in its own right and a lot of staff and patients will be local, so we need to build on this relationship.”

He suggests supporting and working with the children’s ward around seasonal events such as Easter and Christmas when the store could run a colouring competition and provide various discounts and goods.

Prudip says he has made initial contact with the hospital, but has not yet established a relationship to provide support. Martin says the next step is to find the person at the hospital who deals with the local community and set up a meeting. He adds this is something Booker can help with.

3. Encourage healthy eating among customers

Prudip and Sanjay recently donated books on the risks of drugs and alcohol to Clarendon Road Primary School and Light Oaks Junior School, just yards away.

“You could take that to another level and tie in healthy eating,” Martin says. “One of our retailers in Edinburgh has a loyalty card with fruit, and after four stamps you get the fifth piece of fruit free. That could be a way of driving loyalty with the schools.”

He also suggests sponsoring events such as sports days and supplying drinks, as well as finding out whether the schools have a breakfast club the store could provide milk or cereal for. Prudip says parents shop in the store, but this could be a way to increase that footfall and also involve their children.

What we learnt:

Martin Swadling“It’s fantastic to see such a brilliant store and great retailers who want to be even better and engage with their local community. Our biggest challenge over the next few weeks is to be really loud about what the store’s about, so the local community, schools and hospital embrace it. It’s a really good all-round shop with a great mixture of fresh, grocery and impulse. There’s nothing you couldn’t get for your weekly shop.”

Martin Swadling, Director of Premier, Booker Wholesale

Prudip Naran“It’s been really interesting to hear how we can get our brand out there and use social media to let customers know we are here and that we want to support them. I’m looking forward to setting up the fruit loyalty scheme for children to get them coming back to the store and also to using social media more to let customers know we are here and what we have to offer.”

Prudip Naran, Premier Eccles Old Road

bulbPrudips’s action plan:

  1. Set up a Twitter account and post photos of recent community events on this and Facebook.

  2. Build a relationship with the local hospital and suggest sponsoring the children’s ward and events.

  3. Encourage healthy eating with a fruit loyalty scheme and offer to support sports days

pencilYour action plan:

  • Go to betterretailing.com/IAA to download the free tools to improve your store.
  • Email iaa@newtrade.co.uk to find out how you can take part in a future visit from one of our partners
  • Download your free digital copy of the IAA’s Retail Profit Guide.
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Gurpeet is the news editor for Retail Newsagent. Each week, Gurpreet gets to the heart of the convenience retail industry to bring Retail Newsagent readers the latest news that will affect their store. Gurpreet can be found on Twitter at @GurpreetS_RN, on gurpreet.samrai@newtrade.co.uk and at 020 7689 3386.

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