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How to find niche products and boost store margins

The betterRetailing team talks to retailers about how they are improving their profits

Boosting margin is high on the agenda for independent retailers, but how are stores achieving this while offering value?

Many are reviewing their buying strategies, such as watching out for promotions or buying in bulk, while others are sourcing niche products unique to their stores.

While niche products have to work harder on shelves to sell, it enables retailers to obtain higher margins. Social media is a strong tool for finding the next product to help a store’s margin. This includes the success of Little Moons and, more recently, Prime energy drinks, both of which went viral on TikTok.

“The reason we stock trending products is because of the repeat custom,” he says. “The Mogu Mogu customer will follow the next trend as well. They’ve got a fear of missing out and parents want to keep their kids happy, so they will travel to get it.”

Alternatively, some retailers are creating full meal solutions to boost overall margin.

Goran Raven, owner of Raven’s Budgens in Abridge, Essex, has an orange juice machine in store and has this as part of his breakfast offering. This means shoppers have a wider option, helping to drive sales.

“We got an iSqueeze machine and I’m amazed at how popular it is,” he says. “We do 330ml, 500ml and 1l bottles, and we’re selling approximately 13 bottles a day.”

Reviewing your equipment and ensuring they are running efficiently will also help overall store margins. Sue Nithyanandan, owner of Costcutter Epsom in Surrey, for example, updated her chillers to cut overhead costs.

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