The Independent Achievers Academy (IAA) Mentoring Programme (formerly known as Academy in Action) is a free mentoring programme, whereby the IAA team visits retailers in their stores to give them advice that is specific to their business’ challenges.
In visit four of 10, Samantha Gunston, head of events at Newtrade Media helps Ashok Govind, of R&S Convenience in Bedlington, Northumberland range effectively.
Name: Ashok Govind
Store: Premier R&S Convenience, Bedlington, Newcastle
Size: 1,200sq ft
Ashok says: “We bought the store six years ago, but it’s been around for more than 40 years. We’re on a main road and have a mixture of elderly customers, working professionals, young adults and school children who visit in the afternoon.
“The store has a lot of competition, including a local store, Aldi, Lidl and Morrisons so we’re looking at how we can differentiate ourselves.”
The IAA’s three-point action plan and advice
1. Trial American products – Now you’re working with Hancocks, trial five or six American products to see how they sell.
The IAA says: “To promote these products, we recommend creating signage that features the American flag and posting on your shop’s Facebook page about the exciting new additions to the store. If this goes well, we recommend expanding into American soft drinks and crisps.”
2. Consult your customers – Ask customers when they are at the checkout what products they would like to see.
The IAA says: “Also ask customers about the products or offers they’d like to see in store more frequently. This will help you understand what to include in your range, helping you drive sales as you’re catering to their needs.”
3. Excite shoppers about your delivery service – Start posting on Facebook about your upcoming new service and through these posts, ask your customers what products they would like to see on offer.
The IAA says: “Launching a delivery service can be a challenge, but knowing which products to include can be just as difficult. By involving your customers in the process, you’ll have the right products straight away, boosting overall spend.”
“We’ve introduced five different US confectionery lines, including Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey’s Cookies and Cream. We sourced these from Booker and have sold really well. I’ve merchandised them at the front of the store so customers can see them and we’re happy with how they’re performing. Since doing this, confectionery has increased by 5%. To drive sales, we plan on posting about them on Facebook. We’re also launching a new website for online deliveries, which we will also share on Facebook once it has launched.”
Explore Premier R&S Convenience
“All businessess should take part in the IAA, there’s always something new to learn and innovations to share”