EXCLUSIVE: Hancocks refreshes Loughborough and Bristol depots to help customers

The first refresh was conducted more than a month ago with a potential to other cash and carries on the way

Hancocks depot Confectionery wholesaler

Confectionery wholesaler Hancocks has refreshed two of its depots to make it easier for retailers to find products, and more sites could soon follow.

The refurbished sites in Loughborough and Bristol feature new signage, displays and layouts as part of the company’s ongoing plans to make new merchandising and products available to stores.

Marketing manager Kathryn Hague told Better Retailing the new displays make it easier for retailers to find new products and important information as soon as they enter the depot. Vegan and halal options are also signposted more clearly.

She said: “The deals are at eye level, so we can really tell the story of a brand and where money can be made.”

The first refresh was conducted more than a month ago, and Hancocks’ parent company, World of Sweets, is in the process of deciding on a potential rollout schedule to other cash and carries. Hancocks has other sites across the Midlands, south of England and Wales.

World of Sweets chief operating officer Jonathan Summerley told Better Retailing he was “pleased” with the refresh, and that it had succeeded in making customer journeys less confusing and bringing the depots up to date.

He added: “You get that clarity when you walk in. The comments from retailers have been really good.”

The changes also include a continued focus on staff and customer service, with new signage at the entrance identifying the store managers. Bells have also been added to registers, so retailers can get checked out faster rather than waiting for staff.

“What retailers get from out teams is the knowledge, the expertise and the advice,” said Summerley. “I’d like to say that every one of my store managers knows every customer, I’d be disappointed if they didn’t.”

Other depot improvements are still being determined, including improved floor stickers to streamline movement through the sites.

Hague added that the different depots are already structured around local needs, citing aisles dedicated to Scottish products in Hancocks’ Glasgow cash and carry as an example.

“We try to support everyone,” she said. “We have Cadbury Flakes, but also our own-label Kingsway ones because a lot of ice cream vendors prefer the choice.”

It isn’t just in depot that merchandising has been refreshed, with new in-store stands for shaker cups, pick’n’ mix, and other treats available to retailers making large purchases at Hancocks.

“With merchandising, we recognised we had to improve and move the dial,” Summerley said, adding that World of Sweets now offers 11 types of point-of-sale equipment.

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