OPINION: Making more from shoppers and spending less – Alan Mannings

We are looking for ways to bring in more customers to spend money with us, while at the same time reduce our own outgoings.

We’re part of Londis and we’re about to start stocking more fresh meat to see how it goes. It’s another way for people to spend money with us. We’re right on people’s doorsteps, so we’re going to try. We’ll be looking at a local butcher that I know, and I will also see if we can start bringing in some game meat again as well. We tried selling that once before and it wasn’t successful, but I believe it was because it wasn’t displayed properly and I didn’t have the customers to buy it. But now, I’ve been here for three or four years, and my customer demographics have changed. So, we’re going to try it again.

It’s about bringing something different to the table. I understand that, at the moment, with shortages, the margins are going to be less and the price for the customer may well be higher, but we have to try. No one likes to travel much during the winter, so the more we can provide as a local shop, the easier it is for people to finish work, come to us, get what they need and then get home and shut the door. If we can offer some quality meat and a nice bottle of wine right on your doorstep, then you’re going to come to us. It might only be once a week, but it boosts sales.

How to choose the right van for you

As well as boosting sales, we’ve just had a new chiller fitted, which will help reduce our costs and free up a huge amount of space. Finding ways to cut costs – particularly energy bills – makes a huge difference. You don’t realise how much things can add up over the course of a month. If you’re not using a light, don’t leave it on. I want to look into automated, motion sensor lights that switch off when you leave the room. Why leave your alcohol chiller on overnight? Turn it on in the morning and by the time you can serve alcohol it will be cold again.

Keep maintaining your equipment, the chillers are good and if you look after them, they’ll last longer than they should. Good maintenance is key. You service your car regularly, so why not your chillers?

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