OPINION: HFSS will affect us all – Alan Mannings, Shop on the Green

HFSS is legislation that aims to end the promotion of products high in fat, sugar and salt by volume and location both online and in store in England

HFSS sweets confectionery

I run a store that’s 550sq ft, and one of the things that I will be looking at over the next few months is how I can get the most out of the space I have.

We’ve got areas within the store where we have a lot of wasted space, so we’re going to start working with Londis to see what we can create to do better. There are so many retailers out there who are so innovative and do incredible things within the space that they have. I don’t know where they get their ideas from. It’s incredible. We’ve got a new business development manager and he’ll be coming in soon and we can start working together.

For starters, we have a cash machine that brings in little income, so we want to remove that and put shelving there instead. With the way things are changing at the moment, it’s never been more important to make every penny out of every inch of the shop.

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We want to put in a higher counter so we can create more space and put more things near the till. But we won’t be putting chocolate there because of the incoming HFSS legislation.

We already don’t have chocolate at our counter. Instead, we have fresh goose eggs and duck eggs. We have fresh baguettes that we bake in the morning and then sell throughout the day. And then we also stock things we’re trying to sell off.

I’m thinking about HFSS at the moment because, even though our store won’t be actively affected by the new legislation, it will still be affected, and things will have to change. This is what it will be like for all stores, regardless of whether they come under the restrictions or not. Retailers with stores smaller than 2,000sq ft shouldn’t just assume that it will be business as normal for them once the legislation comes into practice.

Find out if HFSS affects your store

There will be an indirect impact for them as well because suppliers and wholesalers will change their approaches and they’ll change their deals. They’ll be thinking of all stores in the same way as though they’re the same size, rather than just different-sized stores.

Even though our store isn’t affected, I think it will see its offer altered because of HFSS. We will work with the suppliers and, as they change their deals, we’ll change with them. It’s always better to work with suppliers in this way because some of them are very creative.

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