Chris Gamm explains why retailers need to get the balance between parents and children right, as although children exert ‘pester power’ they can become shoppers for life.

Whenever I visit our local c-store, my four-year-old daughter always asks to join me. She knows it has a large selection of Kinder Eggs and which particular variants she is collecting. She’s not always successful, but there are a lot of My Little Pony toys currently scattered around the house.

Speaking at the Local Shop Summit last October, London retailer Jay Patel told delegates how he invests in children’s shopping experience because they are future customers and bring parents with them.

As a parent – and victim of pester power – it’s important to get a balanced range that appeals to both children and parents

One tactic he uses is creating brilliant kids magazine displays at floor level. He doesn’t mind mess or damage because there is always a title in parents’ baskets and he sells 17 boxes of comics a week.

There are two great examples of effective marketing to these future customers in this issue. Cobham retailer David Worsfold grew his confectionery sales by 8% in his new store with a ‘Christmas tree’ display of American confectionery.

Meanwhile, Vishal Madhu, from American food importer Innovate Bites, explains how the bright, vibrant packaging of US products is helping the 600 stores he supplies sell on average £1,100 of US confectionery and other products per week.

As a parent – and victim of pester power – it’s important to get a balanced range that appeals to both children and parents. Londis retailer Kate Mills does this by integrating healthy fruit-based treats with vivid packaging into her pick & mix range.

Getting feedback from customers shouldn’t be limited to adults, either. In next week’s issue, we interview a seven-year-old magazine-buyer about what she reads, why and how the positioning of magazines in a store is crucial in determining where she visits with her mother.
Meet their needs and you could win shoppers for life.