How important is Innovation to your business and why?
We’ve increased basket spend with a strong emphasis on building our fresh and chilled range. Traditionally customers would come to us for their evening drinks and go to Tesco for other things. Now our basket spend is up from £5.50 a year ago to £6.50. Also, we’ve grown our margin from 23% to 27%, which we put down to two things: a solid range of vaping products and buying smarter when things are on offer. We’re using social media to highlight offers too.
What three things have you done in the last 12 months that set you apart in Innovation?
- We’re using our EPoS to go through the week’s top and low sellers. If something is constantly underperforming this allows us to see if it needs to be remerchandised or delisted.
- We’ve adopted a less-is-more approach with our range which has helped our profits grow to 27%. We know what’s on the shelf is making us money.
- We’ve introduced new products our customers want. They often message us through Facebook asking us to find new products and trade magazines help with this too.
What’s the biggest trend or challenge you’ve adapted to in the last 12 months?
The biggest challenge is introducing new lines, because you have to decide whether they will be additions to the current range or replacements. We do a lot of background work before we decide to introduce anything because we need to assess if there is the space and sales opportunity for it.
What’s the biggest and best change you’ve made in the last 12 months and why?
We’ve taken a metre of spirits out and replaced it with vaping products. Vape sales are growing and we needed more space to increase them. Our EPoS data allowed us to see that and put products in that are more profitable for us.
What have you done to retain shoppers in the last 12 months?
We’re making sure we have products in stock 24/7 so we can maintain customers and build a reputation where they know we have what they need. We can see what we’re selling on a weekly basis through our EPoS.
Who would you recommend retailers to turn to if they’re looking to improve? I would say talk to suppliers and go through their websites if you’re looking to improve your range. It will allow you to see which products they have, then you can also judge what your suppliers are selling to other shopkeepers.