How to reduce wastage in your store

The Better Retailing team finds out how retailers are cutting back on wastage in their stores

Shopping trolley cart shopper aisle generic supermarket

Susan Connolly

Spar Pennings Road, Tidworth, Wiltshire

“The chilled section is always a problem. EPoS is the big thing. We use Retail Solutions, which was recommended to us by Spar. You can look at the sales history of products, so you can delist lines that aren’t keeping up. It’s a quick and easy way to view your ranges and also find other ranges that could sell faster. It’s much faster than just looking at your shelves to see what’s not working. It gives you an in-depth wastage report and you can analyse it regularly rather than getting a big, scary number at the end of the month. You can also see which products are repeatedly causing us problems in wastage so we know to delist it.

“It shows us what we’ve put in the bin, the actual wastage and what was reduced to clear. The data might say you’re selling 10 a week, but it’s important to know if you’re selling nine of those at reduced prices. It’s really useful because that information might not come up just in sales figures.”

Pete Penlington

Nisa Local Offenham, Worcestershire

“To keep wastage low, it’s all about keeping our order tight. Anything that’s going out of date, we reduce it the day before, which gives us a full day to clear out any products before they expire. That generally clears about 90% of the products because there are a lot of customers who can’t afford the full price and they are looking out for reduced offers. And anything that’s left, the staff can have it for free.

“We get fresh meat from a local supplier, but we know that if we have to sell it quickly, we can reduce it down by at least half and people will buy it. We have minimal wastage because we’d rather it gets eaten than thrown away.

“We get three deliveries from Nisa a week and I go through the products line by line, working out what we’ve sold and what we need to order. We have a good relationship with local suppliers, so we can get products the next day if needed.”

Sudesh Patel

Londis Coulsdon, Surrey

“I have suffered wastage with our meat sales, so what I’m doing now is just ordering meat for the weekend, tightening my ordering to reduce wastage. I realised that I wasn’t selling that much meat on week days, and since I’ve started only ordering it for the weekends, we’re saving £20-50 a week on meat wastage. It all comes down to looking at the EPoS data, but also looking at the weather and the time of year.

“Because it’s the holiday season now, bread wastage is higher than it should be, and because the weather hasn’t been great, there are fewer people out and about buying things. It’s all about getting as tight as you can on ordering, while still ensuring you have good availability. Availability is still really important and you want customers coming into the shop to feel that we’ve got everything they need and that the shop is full, looks good and is clean.”

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