How to find the perfect range for your store

The Better Retailing team finds out what impact the cost-of-living crisis has had on their ranging choices and how they are making their new ranges work

Grocery shelves aisle categories

Jey Sivapalan

1 Stop Go Local, Derby

“It’s not changed things massively. We used to always have one premium brand and one mainstream brand, and some customers would go for the premium option, but we have noticed that people are generally buying the cheaper product now, so we’ve adjusted the range and store layout accordingly.

“We sell Strongbow, but also have a Go Local cider called Lancer and that’s been increasing a lot. We’re selling six cases of Lancer for every case of Strongbow now because it’s cheaper. It’s the same with tobacco – people just want the cheapest options, so we went to all the tobacco companies and asked what discounts we could get from them.

“If retailers can carry cheaper products, they should, because some will be just as good quality as the branded, more expensive options. We still sell lots of Heinz baked beans at £1.75 a tin, but we have the £1 Go Local brand as well.”

Peter Bhadal

Londis Woodhouse Street, Leeds

“The biggest things we’ve changed about our ranging and layout have been because of theft. In the past couple of months, we’ve had people stealing whole shelves of coffee and meat, so we’ve moved all the high-value products. My first priority is securing what we sell. The coffee is now in front of the counter and we stock-take the high-value products regularly.

“In terms of ranging, it’s important to have a good, better and best, but it’s also about driving promotions to offset any price increases. Some of the standard staples have gone up by 20%, so I’ve spent the past four days setting up promotions and putting them up around the store. Wherever you are in the store, it looks like there’s something there that has some value.

“As soon as customers think you’re expensive – and prices are going up faster than we can source cheaper versions – then that can be it.”

Umar Majid

Baba’s Kitchen, Glasgow

“Sometimes people are just looking for the budget options in certain categories, such as toilet roll. It doesn’t really matter what brands we stock as long as there’s an affordable option. When it comes to baked beans, however, we stock the Co-op-branded beans, the Best-one own-brand and the bestselling version, which is Heinz. People almost always go for the Heinz, but it’s important we give them the choice.

“We joined Costcutter in January 2022, and we started introducing their value products and started taking away the Co-op-branded products because they were more expensive. Since switching to Costcutter, the prices have increased again, so we’ve been looking for alternatives, such as the Best-one options, which are selling as well as, if not better than, the Costcutter version. The ambient section is dying, so we’re looking to cut that down to increase food to go and fresh fruit and veg.”

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